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Wild Olive 






A I 




Work. 27 

Traffic 81 

War 125 

The Future of England 181 

Appendix... • 317 


Twenty years ago, there was no lovelier 
piece of lowland scenery in South England, 
nor any more pathetic in the world, by its ex- 
pression of sweet human character and life, 
than that immediately bordering on the sources 
of the Wandle, and including the lower moors 
of Addington, and the villages of Beddington 
and Carshalton, with all their pools and 
streams. No clearer or diviner waters ever 
sang with constant lips of the hand which 
" giveth rain from heaven ; " no pastures ever 
lightened in springtime with more passionate 
blossoming ; no sweeter homes ever hallowed 
the heart of the passer-by with their pride of 
peaceful gladness — fain-hidden — yet full-con- 
fessed. The place remains, or, until a few 
months ago, remained, nearly unchanged in its 
larger features ; but, with deliberate mind I 
say, that I have never seen anything so ghastly 


in its inner tragic meaning, — not in Pisan 
Maremma, — not by Campagna tomb, — not by 
the sand-isles of the Torcellan shore, — as the 
slow stealing of aspects of reckless, indolent, 
animal neglect, over the delicate sweetness of 
that English scene : nor is any blasphemy or 
impiety — any frantic saying or godless thought 
— more appalling to me, using the best power 
of judgment I have to discern its sense and 
scope, than the insolent defilings of those 
springs by the human herds that drink of 
them. Just where the welling of stainless 
water, trembling and pure, like a body of light, 
enters the pool of Carshalton, cutting itself a 
radiant channel down to the gravel, through 
warp of feathery weeds, all waving, which it 
traverses with its deep threads of clearness, 
like the chalcedony in moss-agate, starred here 
and there with white grenouillette ; just in the 
very rush and murmur of the first spreading 
currents, the human wretches of the place cast 
their street and house foulness ; heaps of dust 
and slime, and broken shreds of old metal, 
and rags of putrid clothes ; they having 
neither energy to cart it away, nor decency 
enough to dig it into the ground, thus shed 
into the stream, to diffuse what venom of it 


will float and melt, far away, in all places 
where God meant those waters to bring joy 
and health. And, in a little pool, behind 
some houses farther in the village, where 
another spring rises, the shattered stones of 
the well, and of the little fretted channel 
which was long ago built and traced for it by 
gentler hands, lie scattered, each from each, 
under a ragged bank of mortar, and scoria, 
and bricklayers' refuse, on one side, which the 
clean water nevertheless chastises to purity ; 
but it cannot conquer the dead earth beyond ; 
and there, circled and coiled under festering 
scum, the stagnant edge of the pool effaces 
itself into a slope of black slime, the accumu- 
lation of indolent years. Half a dozen men, 
with one day's work, could cleanse those pools, 
and trim the flowers about their banks, and 
make every breath of summer air above them 
rich with cool balm ; and every glittering wave 
medicinal, as if it ran, troubled of angels, 
from the porch of Bethesda. But that day's 
work is never given, nor will be ; nor will any 
joy be possible to heart of man, for evermore, 
about those wells of English waters. 

When I last left them, I walked up slowly 
through the back streets of Croydon, from the 


old church to the hospital ; and, just on the 
left, before coming up to the crossing of the 
High Street, there was a new public-house 
built. And the front of it was built in so wise 
manner, that a recess cf two feet was left 
below its front windows, between them and 
the street-pavement — a recess too narrow for 
any possible use (for even if it had been occu- 
pied by a seat, as in old time it might have 
been, everybody walking along the street 
would have fallen over the legs of the reposing 
wayfarers). But, by way of making this two 
feet depth of freehold land more expressive of 
the dignity of an establishment for the sale of 
spirituous liquors, it was fenced from the 
pavement by an imposing iron railing, having 
four or five spearheads to the yard of it, and 
six feet high ; containing as much iron and 
iron-work, indeed, as could well be put into 
the space ; and by this stately arrangement, 
the little piece of dead ground within, between 
wall and street, became a protective receptacle 
of refuse ; cigar ends, and oyster shells, and 
the like, such as an open-handed English 
street-populace habitually scatters from its 
presence, and was thus left, unsweepable by 
any ordinary methods, Now the iron bars 


which, uselessly (or in great degree worse than 
uselessly), enclosed this bit of ground, and 
made it pestilent, represented a quantity of 
work which would have cleansed the Carshal- 
ton pools three times over ; — of work, partly 
cramped and deadly, in the mine ; partly 
fierce * and exhaustive, at the furnace, partly 

* " A fearful occurrence took place a few days since, 
near Wolverhampton. Thomas Snape, aged nineteen, 
was on duty as the ' keeper ' of a blast furnace at 
Deepfield, assisted by John Gardner, aged eighteen, 
and Joseph Swift, aged thirty-seven. The furnace con- 
tained four tons of molten iron, and an equal amount 
of cinders, and ought to have been run out at 7.30 
P. M. But Snape and his mates, engaged in talking 
and drinking, neglected their duty, and, in the mean 
time, the iron rose in the furnace until it reached a pipe 
wherein water was contained. Just as the men had 
stripped, and were proceeding to tap the furnace, the 
water in the pipe, converted into steam, burst down its 
front and let loose on them the molten metal, which 
instantaneously consumed Gardner; Snape, terribly 
burnt, and mad with pain, leaped into the canal and 
then ran home and fell dead on the threshold ; Swift 
survived to reach the hospital, where he died too." 

In further illustration of this matter, I beg the 
reader to look at the article on the " Decay of the 
English Race," in the Pall Mall Gazette of April 17, of 
this year; and at the articles on the " Report of the 
Thames Commission," hi any journals of the same 


foolish and sedentary, of ill-taught students 
making bad designs : work from the beginning 
to the last fruits of it, and in all the branches 
of it, venomous, deathful, and miserable. 
Now, how did it come to pass that this work 
was done instead of the other ; that the 
strength and life of the English operative were 
spent in defiling ground, instead of redeeming 
it ; and in producing an entirely (in that place) 
valueless piece of metal, which can neither be 
eaten nor breathed, instead of medicinal fresh 
air, and pure water ? 

There is but one reason for it, and at pres- 
ent a conclusive one, — that the capitalist can 
charge percentage on the work in the one 
case, and cannot in the other. If, having 
certain funds for supporting labor at my dis- 
posal, I pay men merely to keep my ground 
in order, my money is, in that function, spent 
once for all ; but if I pay them to dig iron out 
of my ground, and work it, and sell it, I can 
charge rent for the ground, and percentage 
both on the manufacture and the sale, and 
make my capital profitable in these three by- 
ways. The greater part of the profitable in- 
vestment of capital in the present day, is in 
operations of this kind, in which the public is 


persuaded to buy something of no use to it, 
on production, cr sale, of which, the capitalist 
may charge percentage; the said public re- 
maining all the while under the persuasion 
that the percentage thus obtained are real 
national gains, whereas, they are merely filch- 
ings out of partially light pockets, to swell 
heavy ones. 

Thus, the Croydon publican buys the iron 
railing, to make himself more conspicuous to- 
drunkards. The public-house keeper on the 
other side cf the way presently buys another 
railing, to out-rail him with. Both are, as ta 
their relative attractiveness to customers of 
taste, just where they were before ; but they 
have lost the price of the railings ; which 
they must either themselves finally lose, or 
make their aforesaid customers of taste pay, 
by raising the price of their V>eer, or adulterat- 
ing it. Either the publicans, or their cus- 
tomers, are thus poorer by precisely what the 
capitalist has gained ; and the value of the 
work itself, meantime, has been lost, to the 
nation ; the iron bars in that form and place 
being wholly useless. It is this mode of tax- 
ation of the poor by the rich which is referred 
to in the text (page ), in comparing the 


modern acquisitive power of capital with thai 
of the lance and sword ; the only difference 
being that the levy of black-mail in old times 
was by force, and is now by cozening. The 
old rider and reiver frankly quartered himself 
on the publican for the night ; the modern one 
merely makes his lance into an iron spike, 
and persuades his host to buy it. One comes 
as an open robber, the other as a cheating ped- 
dler ; but the result, to the injured person's 
pocket, is absolutely the same. Of course 
many useful industries mingle with, and dis- 
guise the useless ones ; and in the habits of 
energy aroused by the struggle, there is a 
certain direct good. It is far better to spend 
four thousand pounds in making a good gun, 
and then to blow it to pieces, than to pass 
life in idleness. Only do not let it be called 
" political economy." There is also a confused 
notion in the minds of many persons, that the 
gathering of the property of the poor into the 
hands of the rich does no ultimate harm ; 
since in whosesoever hands it may be, it must 
be spent at last, and thus, they think, return 
to the poor again. This fallacy has been 
again and again exposed ; but grant the plea 
true, and the same apology may, of course, be 


made for black-mail, or any other form of 
robbery. It might be (though practically it 
never is) as advantageous for the nation that 
the robber should have the spending of the 
money he extorts, as that the person robbed 
should have spent it. But this is no excuse 
for the theft. If I were to put a turnpike on 
the road where it passes my own gate, and en- 
deavor to exact a shilling from every passenger, 
the public would soon do away with my gate, 
without listening to any plea on my part that 
" it was as advantageous to them, in the end, 
that I should spend their shillings, as that 
they themselves should." But if, instead of 
out-facing them with a turnpike, I can only 
persuade them to come in and buy stones, or 
old iron, or any other useless thing, out of my 
ground, I may rob them to the same extent, 
and be, moreover, thanked as a public bene- 
factor, and promoter of commercial prosperity* 
And this main question for the poor of Eng- 
land — for the poor of all countries — is wholly 
omitted in every common treatise on the sub- 
ject of wealth. Even by the laborers them- 
selves, the operation of capital is regarded 
only in its effect on their immediate interests; 
never in the far more terrific power of its aj> 


pointment of the kind and the object of labor. 
It matters little, ultimately, how much a la- 
borer is paid for making anything; but it 
matters fearfully what the thing is, which he 
is compelled to make. If his labor is so 
ordered as to produce food, and fresh air, and 
fresh water, no matter that his wages are low ; 
— the food and fresh air and water will be at 
last there ; and he will at last get them. But 
if he is paid to destroy food and fresh air or 
to produce iron bars instead of them, — the 
food and air will finally not be there, and he 
will not get them, to his great and final incon- 
venience. So that, conclusively, in political 
as in household economy, the great question 
is, not so much what money you have in your 
pocket, as what you will buy with it, and do 
with it. 

I have been long accustomed, as all men 
engaged in work of investigation must be, to 
hear my statements laughed at for years, before 
they are examined or believed ; and I am 
generally content to wait the public's time. 
But it has not been without displeased sur- 
prise that I have found myself totally unable, 
as yet, by any repetition, or illustration, to 
force this plain thought into my readers' heads, 


—that the wealth of nations, as of men, con- 
sists in substance, not in ciphers ; and that 
the real good of all work, and of all commerce, 
depends on the final worth cf the thing you 
make, or get by it. This is a practical enough 
statement, one would think : but the English 
public has been so possessed by its modern 
school of economists with the notion that 
Business is always good, whether it be busy 
in mischief or in benefit ; and that buying and 
selling are always salutary, whatever the in- 
trinsic worth of what you buy or sell, — that it 
seems impossible to gain so much as a pa- 
tient hearing for any inquiry respecting the 
substantial result of our eager modern labors. 
I have never felt more checked by the sense 
of this impossibility than in arranging the 
heads of the following three lectures, which, 
though delivered at considerable intervals of 
time, and in different places, were nci pre- 
pared without reference to each other. Their 
connection would, however, have been made 
far more distinct, if I had not been prevented, 
by what I feel to be another great difficulty in 
addressing English audiences, from enforcing, 
with any decision, the common, and to me 
the most important, part of their subjects. 


I chiefly desired (as I have just said) to ques« 
tion my hearers — operatives, merchants, and 
soldiers, as to the ultimate meaning of the 
business they had in hand ; and to know from 
them what they expected or intended their 
manufacture to come to, their selling to come 
to, and their killing to come to. That ap- 
peared the first point needing determination 
before I could speak to them with any real 
utility or effect. " You craftsmen — salesmen 
• — swordsmen, — do but tell me clearly what 
you want ; then if I can say anything to help 
you, I will ; and if not, I will account to you 
as I best may for my inability." But in 
order to put this question into any terms, one 
had first of all to face the difficulty just spoken 
of — to me for the present insuperable, — the 
difficulty of knowing whether to address one's 
audience as believing, or not believing, in any 
other world than this. For if you address 
any average modern English company as 
believing in an Eternal life, and endeavor to 
draw any conclusions, from this assumed 
belief, as to their present business, they will 
forthwith tell you that what you say is very 
beautiful, but it is not practical. If, on the 
contrary, you frankly address them as un- 


believers of Eternal life, and try to draw any 
consequences from that unbelief, — they im- 
mediately hold you for an accursed person, 
and shake off the dust from their feet at you. 
And the more I thought over what I had got 
to say, the less I found I could say it, without 
some reference to this intangible or intractable 
part of the subject. It made all the difference, 
in asserting any principle of war, whether one 
assumed that a discharge of artillery would 
merely knead down a certain quantity of red 
clay into a level line, as in a brickfield ; or 
whether, out of every separately Christian- 
named portion of the ruinous heap, there went 
out, into the smoke and dead-fallen air of 
battle, some astonished condition of soul, un- 
willingly released. It made all the difference, 
in speaking of the possible range of commerce, 
whether one assumed that all bargains related 
only to visible property — or whether property, 
for the present invisible, but nevertheless real, 
was elsewhere purchasable on other terms. It 
made all the difference, in addressing a body of 
men subject to considerable hardship, and 
having to find some way out of it — whether one 
could confidently say to them, " My friends, — 
you have only to die, and all will be right ; " or 


whether one had any secret misgiving that 
such advice was more blessed to him that 
gave, than to him that took it. And there- 
fore the deliberate reader will find, throughout 
these lectures, a hesitation in driving points 
home, and a pausing short of conclusions 
•which he will feel I would fain have come to ; 
hesitation which arises wholly from this un- 
certainty of my hearers' temper. For I do 
not now speak, nor have I ever spoken, since 
the time of first forward youth, in any prose- 
lyting temper, as desiring to persuade any one 
of what, in such matters, I thought myself; 
but, whomsoever I venture to address, I take 
for the time his creed as I find it ; and en- 
deavor to push it into such vital fruit as it 
seems capable of. Thus, it is a creed with a 
great part of the existing English people, that 
they are in possession of a book which tells 
them, straight from the lips of God, all they 
ought to do, and need to know. I have read 
that book, with as much care as most of them, 
for some forty years ; and am thankful that, 
on those who trust it, I can press its pleadings. 
My endeavor has been uniformly to make 
them trust it more deeply than they do ; trust 
it, not in their own favorite verses only, but in 


the sum of all ; trust it not as a fetish or talis* 
man, which they are to be saved by daily 
repetitions of ; but as a Captain's order, to be 
heard and obeyed at their peril. I was 
always encouraged by supposing my hearers to 
hold such belief. To these, if to any, I once 
had hope of addressing, with acceptance, 
words which insisted on the guilt of pride, 
and the futility of avarice ; from these, if from 
any, I once expected ratification of a political 
economy, which asserted that the life was 
more than the meat, and the body than rai- 
ment ; and these, it once seemed to me, I 
might ask, without accusation of fanaticism, 
not merely in doctrine of the lips, but in the 
bestowal of their heart's treasure, to separate 
themselves from the crowd of whom it is 
written, " After all these things do the Gentiles 

It cannot, however, be assumed, with any 
semblance of reason, that a general audience 
is now wholly, or even in majority, composed 
of these religious persons. A large portion 
must always consist of men who admit no such 
creed ; or who, at least, are inaccessible to 
appeals founded on it. And as, with the so- 
called Christian, I desired to plead for honest 


declaration and fulfilment of his belief in 
life, — with the so-called infidel, I desired to- 
plead for an honest declaration and fulfilmen* 
of his belief in death. The dilemma is inevi- 
table. Men must either hereafter live, or hers* 
after die ; fate may be bravely met, and covc- 
duct wisely ordered, on either expectation ; but 
never in hesitation between ungrasped hope, 
and unconfronted fear. We usually believe in 
immortality, so far as to avoid preparation for 
death ; and in mortality, so far as to avoid prep- 
paration for anything after death. Whereas 
a wise man will at least hold himself prepared 
for one or other of two events, of which one 
or other is inevitable ; and will have all thiflg* 
in order, for his sleep, or in readiness, for hig 

Nor have we any right to call it an ignoble 
judgment, if he determine to put them inordei, 
as for sleep. A brave belief in life is indeed 
an enviable state of mind, but, as far as I can 
discern, an unusual one. I know few Chris- 
tians so convinced of the splendor of the rooms 
in their Father's house, as to be happier when 
their friends are called to those mansions, than 
they would have been if the Queen had sent 
for them to live at court : nor has the Church's 


most ardent "desire to depart, and be with 
Christ," ever cured it of the singular habit of 
putting on mourning for every person sum- 
moned to such departure. On the contrary, a 
brave belief in death has been assuredly held 
by many not ignoble persons, and it is a sign 
of the last depravity in the Church itself, when 
it assumes that such a belief is inconsistent 
with either purity of character, or energy of 
hand. The shortness of life is not, to any 
rational person, a conclusive reason for wast- 
ing the space of it which may be granted him ; 
nor does the anticipation of -death to-morrow 
suggest, to any one but a drunkard, the ex- 
pediency of drunkenness to-day. To teach 
that there is no device in the grave, may indeed 
make the deviceless person more contented in 
his dulness ; but it will make the deviser only 
more earnest in devising : nor is human con- 
duct likely, in every case, to be purer, under 
the conviction that all its evil may in a moment 
be pardoned, and all its wrong-doing in a 
moment redeemed ; and that the sigh of re- 
pentance, which purges the guilt of the past, 
will waft the soul into a felicity which forgets 
its pain, — than it may be under the sterner, 
and to many not unwise minds, more probable, 


apprehension, that " what a man soweth that 
shall he also reap," — or others reap, — when he, 
the living seed of pestilence, walketh no more 
in darkness, but lies down therein. 

But to men whose feebleness of sight, or 
bitterness of soul, or the offence given by the 
conduct of those who claim higher hope, may 
have rendered this painful creed the only pos- 
sible one, there is an appeal to be made, more 
secure in its ground than any which can be 
addressed to happier persons. I would fain, 
if I might ofxencelessly, have spoken to them 
as if none others heard ; and have said thus : 
Hear me, you dying men, who will soon be 
deaf forever. Tor these others, at your right 
hand and your left, who look forward to a state 
of infant existence, in which all their errors 
will be overruled, and all their faults forgiven ; 
for these, who, stained and blackened in the 
battle-smoke of mortality, have but to dip them- 
selves for an» instant in the font of death, and 
to rise renewed of plumage, as a dove that is 
covered with silver, and her feathers like gold ; 
for these, indeed, it may be permissible to 
waste their numbered moments, through faith 
in a future of innumerable hours ; to these, in 
their weakness, it may be conceded that they 


should tamper with sin which can only bring 
forth fruit of righteousness, and profit by the 
iniquity which, one day, will be remembered 
no more. In them, it may be no sign of hard- 
ness of heart to neglect the poor, over whom 
they know their Master is watching ; and to 
leave those to perish temporarily, who cannot 
perish eternally. But, for you, there is no such 
hope, and therefore no such excuse. This fate 
which you ordain for the wretched, you believe 
to be all their inheritance ; you may crush, 
them, before the moth, and they will never 
rise to rebuke you ; — their breath, which fails 
for lack of food, once expiring, will never be 
recalled to whisper against you a word of 
accusing ; — they and you, as you think, shall 
lie down together in the dust, and the worms 
cover you; — and for them there shall be no 
consolation, and on you no vengeance, — only 
the question murmured above your grave : 
" Who shall repay him what he hath done ? " 
Is it therefore easier for you in your heart to 
inflict the sorrow for which there is no remedy ? 
Will you take, wantonly, this little all of his life 
from your poor brother, and make his brief hours 
long to him with pain ? Will you be readier 
to the injustice which can never be redressed ; 


and niggardly of mercy which you can bestow 
but once, and which, refusing, you refuse for- 
ever ? I think better of you, even of the most 
selfish, than that you would do this, well under- 
stood. And for yourselves, it seems to me, 
the question becomes not less grave, in these 
curt limits. If your life were but a fever 
fit, — the madness of a night, whose follies were 
all to be forgotten in the dawn, it might mat- 
ter little how you fretted away the sickly hours, 
— what toys you snatched at, or let fall, — what 
visions you followed wistfully with the deceived 
eyes of sleepless phrenzy. Is the eardi only art 
hospital ? Play, if you care to play, on the floor 
of the hospital dens. Knit its straw into what 
crowns please you ; gather the dust of it for 
treasure, and die rich in that, clutching at the 
black motes in the air with your dying hands ; — 
and yet, it may be well with you. But if this life 
be no dream, and the world no hospital ; if all 
the peace and power and joy you can ever win, 
must be won now; and all fruit of victory 
gathered here, or never ; — will you still, 
throughout the puny totality of youi life, weary 
yourselves in the fire for vanity ? If there is 
no rest which remaineth for you, is there none 
you might presently take ? was this grass of 


the earth made green for your shroud only, 
not for your bed ? and can you never lie down 
upon it, but only wider it ? The heathen, to 
whose creed you have returned, thought not 
so. They knew that life brought its contest, 
but they expected from it also the crown of all 
contest : No proud one ! no jewelled circlet 
flaming through Heaven above the height of 
the unmerited throne ; only some few leaves 
of wild olive, cool to the tired brow, through 
a few years of peace. It should have been of 
gold, they thought; but Jupiter was poor; this 
was the best the god could give them. Seek- 
ing a greater than this, they had known it a 
mockery. Not in war, not in wealth, not in 
tyranny, was there any happiness to be found 
for them — only in kindly peace, fruitful and 
free. The wreath was to be of wild olive, mark 
you : — the tree that grows carelessly, tufting 
the rocks with no vivid bloom, no verdure of 
branch ; only with soft snow of blossom, and 
scarcely fulfilled fruit, mixed with gray leaf 
and thorn-set stem ; no fastening of diadem for 
you but with such sharp embroidery ! But 
this, such as it is, you may win while yet you 
live; type of great honor and sweet rest.* 

*/ue\tr6c<r<ra iiffhuv y ere/ccy. 


Fi^-heartedness, and graciousness, and undis- 
turbed trust, and requited love, and the sight 
of the peace of others, and the ministry to 
their pain ; — these, and the blue sky above 
you, and the sweet waters and flowers of the 
earth beneath ; and mysteries and presences, 
innumerable, of living things, — these may yet 
be here your riches ; untormenting and divine : 
serviceable for the life that now is ; nor, it may 
be, without promise of that which is to come. 






ifieHtnreditfa^ the Working Men's Institute, at CamSermZ?.') 

My Friends, — I have not come among you 
to-night to endeavor to give you an entertain- 
ing lecture ; but to tell you a few plain facts, 
and ask you some plain, but necessary ques- 
tions. I have seen and known too much of 
the struggle for life among our laboring pop- 
ulation, to feel at ease, even under any circum- 
stances, in inviting them to dwell on the trivi- 
alities of my own studies ; but, much more, 
as I meet to-night, for the first time, the mem- 
bers of a working Institute established in the 
district in which I have passed the greater 
part of my life, I am desirous that we should 
at once understand each other, on graver mat- 
ters. I would fain tell you, with what feelings, 
and with what hope, I regard this Institution, 



as one of many such, now happily established 
throughout England, as well as in other coun- 
tries ; — Institutions which are preparing the 
way for a great change in all the circumstances 
of industrial life ; but of which the success 
must wholly depend upon our clearly under- 
standing the circumstances and necessary 
limits of this change. No teacher can truly 
promote the cause of education, until he knows 
the conditions of the life for which that edu- 
cation is to prepare his pupil. And the fact 
that he is called upon to address you, nomi- 
nally, as a " Working Class," must compel him, 
if he is in any wise earnest or thoughtful, to 
inquire in the outset, on what you yourselves 
suppose this class distinction has been founded 
in the past, and must be founded in the future. 
The manner of the amusement, and the matter 
of the teaching, which any of us can offer you, 
must depend wholly on our first understand- 
ing from you, whether you think the distinc- 
tion heretofore drawn between working men 
and others, is truly or falsely founded. Do 
you accept it as it stands ? do you wish it to 
be modified ? or do you think the object of 
education is to efface it, and make us forget it 

WORK. 31 

Let me make myself more distinctly under- 
stood. We call this — you and I — a " Work- 
ing Men's " Institute, and our college in Lon- 
don, a " Working Men's " College. Now, how 
do you consider that these several institutes 
differ, or ought to differ, from " idle men's " 
institutes and " idle men's " colleges ? Or by 
what other word than " idle " shall I distin- 
guish those whom the happiest and wisest of 
working men do not object to call the " Upper 
Classes " ? Are there really upper classes, — 
are there lower? How much should they 
always be elevated, how much always de- 
pressed ? And, gentlemen and ladies — I pray 
those of you who are here to forgive me the 
offence there may be in what I am going to 
say. It is not / who wish to say it. Bitter 
voices say it : voices of battle and of famine 
through all the world, which must be heard 
some day, whoever keeps silence. Neither is 
it to you specially that I say it. I am sure 
that most now present know their duties of 
kindness, and fulfil them, better perhaps than 
I do mine. But I speak to you as represent- 
ing your whole class, which errs, I know, 
chiefly by thoughtlessness, but not therefore 
the less terribly, Wilful error is limited by 


the will, but what limit is there to that of 
which we are unconscious? 

Bear with me, therefore, while I turn to 
these workmen, and ask them, also as repre- 
senting a great multitude, what they think the 
" upper classes " are, and ought to be, in rela- 
tion to them. Answer, you workmen who are 
here, as you would among yourselves, frankly ; 
and tell me how you would have me call those 
classes. Am I to call them — would you think 
me right in calling them — the idle classes ? I 
think you would feel somewhat uneasy, and as 
if I were not treating my subject honestly, or 
speaking from my heart, if I went on under 
the supposition that all rich people were idle. 
You would be both unjust and unwise if you 
allowed me to say that ; — not less unjust than 
the rich people who say that all the poor are 
idle, and will never work if they can help it, or 
more than they can help. 

For indeed the fact is, that there are idle 
poor and idle rich ; and there are busy poor 
and busy rich. Many a beggar is as lazy as 
if he had ten thousand a year ; and many a 
many of large fortune is busier than his er 
rand-boy, and never would think of stopping in 
the street to play marbles, go that, in a largo 

WORK. 33 

view, the distinction between workers and 
idlers, as between knaves and and honest men, 
runs through the very heart and innermost 
economies of men of all ranks and in all posi 
tions. There is a working class — strong and 
happy — among both rich and poor; there is 
an idle class — weak, wicked, and miserable — 
among both rich and poor. And the worst of 
the misunderstandings arising between the two 
orders come of the unlucky fact that th« wise 
of one class habitually contemplate the foolish 
of the other. If the busy rich people watched 
and rebuked the idle rich people, all would be 
right ; and if the busy poor people watched 
and rebuked the idle poor people, all would 
be right. But each class has a tendency to 
look for the faults of the other. A hard-work- 
ing man of property is particularly offended 
by an idle beggar ; and an orderly, but poor, 
workman is naturally intolerant of the licen- 
tious luxury of the rich. And what is severe 
judgment in the minds of the just men of either 
class, becomes fierce enmity in the unjust — 
but among the unjust only. None but the 
dissolute among the poor look upon the rich 
as their natural enemies, or desire to pillage 
their house and divide their property. None 


but the dissolute among the rich speak in op» 
probrious terms of the vices and follies of the 

There is, then, no class distinction between 
idle and industrious people ; and I am going 
to-night to speak only of the industrious. 
The idle people we will put out of our thoughts 
at once — they are mere nuisances — what ought 
to be done with them, we'll talk of at another 
time. But there are class distinctions among 
the industrious themselves ; — tremendous dis- 
tinctions, which rise and fall to every degree in 
the infinite thermometer of human pain and of 
human power — distinctions of high and low, 
of lost and won, to the whole reach of man's 
soul and body. 

These separations we will study, and the 
laws of them, among energetic men only, who, 
whether they work or whether they play, put 
their strength into the work, and their strength 
into the game ; being in the full sense of the 
word "industrious," one way or another — with 
a purpose, or without. And these distinctions 
are mainly four : 

I. Between those who work, and those who 



II. Between those who produce the means 
of life, and those who consume them. 

III. Between those who work with the head, 
and those who work with the hand. 

IV. Between those who work wisely, and 
who work foolishly. 

For easier memory, let us say we are going 
to oppose, in our examination, — 
I. Work to play ; 
II. Production to consumption ; 
III. Head to hand; and, 
IV. Sense to nonsense. 

I. First, then, of the distinction between the 
classes who work and the classes who play. Of 
course we must agree upon a definition of these 
terms, — work and play, — before going farther. 
Now, roughly, not with vain subtlety of defini- 
tion, but for plain use of the words, "play " is 
an exertion of body or mind, made to please 
ourselves, and with no determined end ; and 
work is a thing done because it ought to 
be done, and with a determined end. You 
play, as you call it, at cricket, for instance. 
That is as hard work as anything else ; but it 
amuses you, and it has no result but the 
amusement. If it were done as an ordered 
form of exercise, for health's sake, it would 


become work directly. So, in like manner, 
whatever we do to please ourselves, and only 
for the sake of the pleasure, not for an ultimate 
object, is "play," the " pleasing thing," not the 
useful thing. Play may be useful in a second- 
ary sense (nothing is indeed more useful or 
necessary) ; but the use of it depends on its 
being spontaneous. 

Let us, then, inquire together what sort of 
games the playing class in England spend 
their lives in playing at. 

The first of all English games is making 
money. That is an all-absorbing game ; and 
we knock each other down oftener in playing 
at that than at foot-ball, or any other roughest 
sport; and it is absolutely without purpose; 
no one who engages heartily in that game 
ever knows why. Ask a great money-maker 
what he wants to do with his money — he never 
knows. He doesn't make it to do anything 
with it. He gets it only that he may get it. 
" What will you make of what you have got ? " 
you ask. " Well, I'll get more," he says. Just 
as, at cricket, you get more runs. There's 
no use in the runs, but to get more of them 
than other people is the game. And there's 
no use in the money, but to have more of it 

WORK. 3? 

than other people is the game. So all that 
great foul city of London there, — rattling, 
growling, smoking, stinking, — a ghastly heap 
of fermenting brickwork, pouring out poison 
at every pore, — you fancy it is a city of 
work ? Not a street of it ! It is a great city 
of play ; very nasty play, and very hard play, 
but still play. It is only Lord's cricket ground 
without the turf, — a huge billiard table without 
the cloth, and with pockets as deep as the 
bottomless pit ; but mainly a billiard table,, 
after all. 

Well, the first great English game is this 
playing at counters. It differs from the rest 
in that it appears always to be producing 
money, while every other game is expensive. 
But it does not always produce money. 
There's a great difference between " winning n 
money and " making " it ; a great difference 
between getting it out of another man's pocket 
into ours, or filling both. Collecting money is 
by no means the same thing as making it ; the 
tax-gatherer's house is not the Mint; and 
much of the apparent gain (so called), in com- 
merce, is only a form of taxation on carriage 
or exchange. 

Our next great English game, however, 


hunting and shooting, is costly altogether; 
and how much we are fined for it annually in 
land, horses, gamekeepers, and game laws, 
and all else that accompanies that beautiful 
and special English game, I will not endeavor 
to count now : but note only that, except for 
exercise, this is not merely a useless game, 
but a deadly one, to all connected with it. 
For through horse-racing, you get every form 
of what the higher classes everywhere call 
" Play," in distinction from all other plays ; 
that is — gambling ; by no means a beneficial 
or recreative game : and, through game-preserv- 
ing, you get also some curious laying out of 
ground ; that beautiful arrangement of dwell- 
ing-house for man and beast, by which we 
have grouse and blackcock — so many brace to 
the acre, and men and women — so many brace 
to the garret. I often wonder what the an- 
gelic builders and surveyors — the angelic 
builders who build the " many mansions " up 
above there ; and the angelic surveyors, who 
measured that four-square city with their 
measuring reeds — I wonder what they think, 
or are supposed to think, of the laying out of 
ground by this nation, which has set itself, as 
it seems, literally to accomplish, word for 



word, or rather fact for word, in the persons 
of those poor whom its Master left to rep- 
resent him, what that Master said of himself — 
that foxes and birds had homes, but He 

Then, next to the gentlemen's game of 
hunting, we must put the ladies' game of dress- 
ing. It is not the cheapest of games. I saw 
a brooch at a jeweller's in Bond Street a fort- 
night ago, not an inch wide, and without any 
singular jewel in it, yet worth 3,000/. And I 
wish I could tell you what this " play " costs, 
altogether, in England, France, and Russia 
annually. But it is a pretty game, and on cer- 
tain terms, I like it ; nay, I don't see it played 
quite as much as I would fain have it. You 
ladies like to lead the fashion : — by all means 
lead it — lead it thoroughly, lead it far enough. 
Dress yourselves nicely, and dress everybody 
else nicely. Lead the fashions for the poor first ; 
make them look well, and you yourselves will 
look, in ways of which you have now no con- 
ception, all the better. The fashions you have 
set for some time among your peasantry are 
not pretty ones ; their doublets are too irregu- 
larly slashed, and the wind blows too frankly 
through them. 


Then there are other games, wild enough, 
as I could show you if I had time. 

There's playing at literature, and playing at 
art — very different, both, from working at 
literature, or working at art, but I've no time 
to speak of these. I pass to the greatest of 
all— the play of plays, the great gentlemen's 
game, which ladies like them best to play at, 
— the game of War. It is entrancingly pleas- 
ant to the imagination; the facts of it, not 
always so pleasant. We dress for it, however, 
more finely than for any other sport ; and go 
out to it, not merely in scarlet, as to hunt, 
but in scarlet and gold, and all manner of line 
colors : of course we could fight better in 
gray, and without feathers ; but all nations 
have agreed that it is good to be well dressed 
at this play. Then the bats and balls are 
very costly; our English and French bats, 
with the balls and wickets, even those which 
we don't make any use of, costing, I suppose, 
now about fifteen millions of money annually 
to each nation ; all of which you know is paid 
for by hard laborer's work in the furrow and 
furnace. A costly game ! — not to speak of 
its consequences ; I will say at present noth- 
ing of these. The mere immediate cost of all 

WORK. 41 

these plays is what I want you to consider ; 
they all cost deadly work somewhere, as many 
of us know too well. The jewel-cutter, whose 
sight fails over the diamonds ; the weaver, 
whose arm fails over the web ; the iron-forger, 
whose breath fails before the furnace — they 
know what work is — they, who have all the 
work, and none of the play, except a kind 
they have named for themselves down in the 
black north country, where "play" means 
being laid up by sickness. It is a pretty 
example for philologists, of varying dialect, 
this change in the sense of the word "play," as 
used in the black country of Birmingham, and 
the red and black country of Baden Baden. 
Yes, gentlemen, and gentlewomen, of England, 
who think " one moment unamused a misery, 
not made for feeble man," this is what you 
have brought the word " play " to mean, in the 
heart of merry England ! You may have 
your fluting and piping ; but there are sad 
children sitting in the market-place, who 
indeed cannot say to you, " We have piped 
unto you, and ye have not danced : " but eter- 
nally shall say to you, " We have mourned 
unto you, and ye have not lamented." 

This, then, is the first distinction between 


the " upper and lower " classes. And this is 
,one which is by no means necessary ; which 
indeed must, in process of good time, be by 
all honest men's consent abolished. Men will 
be taught that an existence of play, sustained 
by the blood of other creatures, is a good 
existence for gnats and sucking fish ; but not 
for men : that neither days, nor lives, can be 
made holy by doing nothing in them : that 
the best prayer at the beginning of a day is 
that we may not lose its moments ; and the 
best grace before meat, the consciousness that 
we have justly earned our dinner. And when 
we have this much of plain Christianity 
preached to us again, and enough respect what 
we regard as inspiration, as not to think that 
u Son, go work to-day in my vineyard," means 
" Fool, go play to-day in my vineyard," we shall 
all be workers, in one way or another; and 
this much at least of the distinction between 
" upper " and " lower " forgotten. 

II. I pass then to our second distinction; 
between the rich and poor, between Dives 
and Lazarus, — distinction which exists more 
sternly, I suppose, in this day, than ever in 
the world, Pagan or Christian, till now. I will 
put it sharply before you, to begin with, merely 



by reading two paragraphs which I cut from 
two papers that lay on my breakfast table on 
the same morning, the 25th of November, 
1864. The piece about the rich Russian at 
Paris is commonplace enough, and stupid 
besides (for fifteen francs, — \zs. 6d., — is noth- 
ing for a rich man to give for a couple of 
peaches, out of season). Still, the two para- 
graphs printed on the same day are worth 
putting side by side. 

" Such a man is now here. He is a Russian, 
and, with your permission, we will call him 
Count Teufelskine. In dress he is sublime ; 
art is considered in that toilet, the harmony of 
color respected, the chiar' oscuro evident in 
well-selected contrast. In manners he is dig- 
nified — nay, perhaps apathetic ; nothing dis- 
turbs the placid serenity of that calm exterior. 
One day our friend breakfasted chez Bignon. 
When the bill came he read, ' Two peaches, 
15!' He paid. ' Peaches scarce, I presume ? ' 
was his sole remark. ' No, sir,' replied the 
waiter, ' but Teufelskines are.' " — Telegraphy 
November 15, 1864. 

" Yesterday morning, at eight o'clock, a 
woman, passing a dung heap in the stone 
yard near the recently-erected almshouses in 


Shadwell Gap, High Street, Shadwell, called 
the attention of a Thames police-constable to 
a man in a sitting position on the dung heap, 
and said she was afraid he was dead. Her 
fears proved to be true. The wretched creat- 
ure appeared to have been dead several hours. 
He had perished of cold and wet, and the rain 
had been beating down on him all night. The 
deceased was a bone-picker. He was in the 
lowest stage of poverty, poorly clad, and half- 
starved. The police had frequently driven 
him away from the stone yard, between sunset 
and sunrise, and told him to go home. He 
selected a most desolate spot for his wretched 
death. A penny and some bones were found 
in his pockets. The deceased was between 
fifty and sixty years of age. Inspector Ro- 
berts, of the K division, has given directions for 
inquiries to be made at the lodging-houses 
respecting the deceased, to ascertain his iden- 
tity if possible." — Morning Post, November 25, 

You have the separation thus in brief com- 
pass; and I want you to take notice of the 
" a penny and some bones were found in his 
pockets," and to compare it with this third 

WORK. 45 

Statement, from the Telegraph of January 16th 
of this year : — 

" Again, the dietary scale for adult and 
juvenile paupers was drawn up by the most 
conspicuous political economists in England. 
It is low in quantity, but it is sufficient to sup- 
port nature ; yet within ten years of the pass- 
ing of the Poor Law Act, we heard of the pau- 
pers in the Andover Union gnawing the scraps 
of putrid flesh and sucking the marrow from 
the bones cf horses which they were employed 
to crush." 

You see my reason for thinking that our 
Lazarus cf Christianity has some advantage 
over the Jewish one. Jewish Lazarus expected, 
or at least prayed, to be fed with crumbs from 
the rich man's table ; but our Lazarus is fed 
with crumbs from the dog's table. 

Now this distinction between rich and poor 
rests on two bases. Within its proper limits, 
on a basis which is lawful and everlastingly- 
necessary ; beyond them, on a basis unlawful, 
and everlastingly corrupting the frame-work of 
society. The lawful basis of wealth is, that a 
man who works should be paid the fair value 
of his work ; and if he does not choose to 
spend it to-day, he should have free leave to 


keep it, and spend it to-morrow. Thus, an 
industrious man working daily, and laying by 
daily, attains at last the possession of an ac- 
cumulated sum of wealth, to which he has ab- 
solute right. The idle person who will not 
work, and the wasteful person who lays nothing 
by, at the end of the same time will be doubly 
poor — poor in possession, and dissolute in 
moral habit ; and he will then naturally covet 
the money which the other has saved. And 
if he is then allowed to attack the other, and 
rob him of his well-earned wealth, there is no 
more any motive for saving, or any reward for 
good conduct ; and all society is thereupon 
dissolved, or exists only in systems of rapine. 
Therefore the first necessity of social life is 
the clearness of national conscience in en- 
forcing the law — that he should keep who has 


That law, I say, is the proper basis of dis- 
tinction between rich and poor. But there is 
also a false basis of distinction ; namely, the 
power held over those who earn wealth by 
those who levy or exact it. There will be always 
a number of men who would fain set them- 
selves to the accumulation of wealth as the 
sole object of their lives. Necessarily, that 

WORK. 47 

class of men is an uneducated class, inferior in 
intellect, and more or less cowardly. It is 
physically impossible for a well-educated, in- 
tellectual, or brave man to make money the 
chief object of his thoughts ; as physically im- 
possible as it is for him to make his dinner 
the principal object of them. All healthy 
people like their dinners, but their dinner is 
not the main object of their lives. So all 
healthily minded people like making money — 
ought to like it, and to enjoy the sensation of 
winning it ; but the main object of their life is 
not money ; it is something better than money. 
A good soldier, for instance, mainly wishes to 
do his fighting well. He is glad of his pay — 
very properly so, and justly grumbles when 
you keep him ten years without it — still, his 
main notion of life is to win battles, not to be 
paid for winning them. So of clergymen. 
They like pew-rents, and baptismal fees, of 
course; but yet, if they are brave and well 
educated, the pew-rent is not the sole object of 
their lives, and the baptismal fee is not the sole 
purpose of the baptism ; the clergyman's object 
is essentially to baptize and preach, not to be 
paid for preaching. So of doctors. They like 
fees no doubt, — ought to like them ; yet if they 


are brave and well educated, the entire object 
of their lives is not fees. They, on the whole, 
desire to cure the sick ; and, — if they are 
good doctors, and the choice were fairly put 
to them, — would rather cure their patient, and 
lose their fee, than kill him, and get it. And 
so with all other brave and rightly trained 
men ; their work is first, their fee second — 
very important always, but still second. But 
in every nation, as I said, there are a vast 
class who are ill-educated, cowardly, and mere 
or less stupid. And with these people, just 
as certainly the fee is first, and the vrcrk 
second, as with brave people the work is first 
and the fee second. And .this is no small 
distinction. It is the whole distinction in 
man ; distinction between liTc and death in 
him, between heaven and hell f — him. You 
cannot serve two masters ; — you i:::::t serve 
one or other. If your work is first with 
you, and your fee second, work is your 
master, and the lord of work, who is God. 
But if your fee is first with you, and your 
work second, fee is your master, and the lord 
of fee, who is the Devil ; and not only the 
Devil, but the lowest of devils — the " least 
erected fiend that fell." So there you have it 

WORK. 49 

in the briefest terms ; Work first — you are 
God's servants ; Fee first — you are the 
Fiend's. And it makes a difference, now 
and ever, believe me, whether you serve Him 
who has on His vesture and thigh written, 
" King of Kings," and whose service is perfect 
freedom ; or him on whose vesture and thigh 
the name is written, " Slave of Slaves," and 
whose service is perfect slavery. 

However, in every nation there are, and 
must always be a certain number of these 
Fiend's servants, who have it principally for 
the object of their lives to make money. 
They are always, as I said, more or less 
stupid, and cannot conceive of anything else 
so nice as money. Stupidity is always the 
basis of the Judas bargain. We do great in- 
justice to Iscariot, in thinking him wicked above 
all common wickedness. He was only a com- 
mon money-lover, and, like all money-lovers, 
didn't understand Christ ; — couldn't make out 
the worth of Him, or meaning of Him. He was 
horror-struck when he found that Christ would 
be killed; threw his money away instantly, 
and hanged himself. How many of our pres- 
ent money-seekers, think you, would have the 
grace to hang themselves, whoever was killed ? 


But Judas was a common, selfish, muddle* 
headed, pilfering fellow ; his hand always in 
the bag of the poor, not caring for them. He 
didn't understand Christ; — yet believed in 
Him, much more than most of us do ; had 
seen Him do miracles, thought He was quite 
strong enough to shift for Himself, and he, 
Judas, might as well make his own little by- 
perquisites out of the affair. Christ would 
come out of it well enough, and he have his 
thirty pieces. Now, that is the money-seeker's 
idea, all over the world. He doesn't hate 
Christ, but can't understand Him — doesn't 
care for Him — sees no good in that benevo- 
lent business ; makes his own little job out of 
it at all events, come what will. And thus, 
out of every mass of men, you have a certain 
number of bag-men — your " fee first " men, 
whose main object is to make money. And 
they do make it — make it in all sorts of unfair 
ways, chiefly by the weight and force of money 
itself, or what is called the power of capital ; 
that is to say, the power which money, once 
obtained, has over the labor of the poor, so 
that the capitalist can take all its produce to 
himself, except the laborer's food. That is 


5 1 

the modern Judas's way of " carrying the bag," 

and bearing what is put therein. 

Nay, but (it is asked) how is that an unfair 
advantage ? Has not the man who has 
worked for the money a right to use it as he 
best can ? No ; in this respect, money is now 
exactly what mountain promontories over 
public roads were in old times. The barons 
fought for then fairly : — the strongest and 
cunningest got them; then fortified them; 
and made every one who passed below pay 
"toll. Well, capital now is exactly what crags 
were then. Men fight fairly (we will, at least, 
grant so much, though it is more than we 
ought) for their money ; but, once having got 
it, the fortified millionaire can make every- 
body who passes below pay toll to his million, 
and build another tower of his money castle. 
And I can tell you, the poor vagrants by the 
roadside suffer now quite as much from the bag- 
baron, as ever they did from the crag-baron. 
Bags and crags have just the same result on 
rags. I have not time, however, to-night to 
show you in how many ways the power of 
capital is unjust ; but this one great principle I 
have to assert — you will find it quite indispu- 
tably true — that whenever money is the prin- 


cipal object of life with either man or nation, 
it is both got ill, and spent ill ; and does harm 
both in the getting and spending ; but when 
it is not the principal object, it and all other 
things will be well got, and well spent. And 
here is the test, with every man, of whether 
money is the principal object with him, or 
not. If in mid-life he could pause and say, 
" Now I have enough to live upon, I'll 
live upon it; and having well earned it, 
I will also well spend it, and go out of 
the world poor, as I came into it," then 
money is not principal with him ; but if, 
having enough to live upon in the manner be- 
fitting his character and rank, he still wants 
to make more, and to die rich, then money is 
the principal object with him, and it becomes 
a curse to himself, and generally to those 
who spend it after him. For you know it 
must be spent some day ; the only question is 
whether the man who makes it shall spend it, 
or some one else. And generally it is better 
for the maker to spend it, for he will know 
best its value and use. This is the true law 
of life. And if a man does not choose thus to 
spend his money, he must either hoard it or 
lend it, and the worst thing he can generally 



do is to lend it ; for borrowers are nearly 
always ill-spenders, and it is with lent money 
that all evil is mainly done and all unjust war 

For observe what the real fact is, respecting 
loans to foreign military governments, and 
how strange it is. If your little boy came to 
you to ask for money to spend in squibs and 
crackers, you would think twice before you 
gave it him ; and you would have some idea that 
it was wasted, when you saw it fly off in fire- 
works, even though he did no mischief with it. 
But the Russian children, and Austrian chil- 
dren, come to you, borrowing money, not to 
spend in innocent squibs, but in cartridges 
and bayonets to attack you in India with, 
and to keep down all noble life in Italy with, 
and to murder Polish women and children 
with ; and that you will give at once, because 
they pay you interest for it. Now, in order 
to pay you that interest, they must tax every 
working peasant in their dominions ; and on 
that work you live. You therefore at once 
rob the Austrian peasant, assassinate or 
banish the Polish peasant, and you live on the 
produce of the theft, and the bribe for the 
assassination ! That is the broad fact — that 


is the practical meaning of your foreign loans, 
and of most large interest of money ; and then 
you quarrel with Bishop Colenso, forsooth, 
as if he denied the Bible, and you believed it ! 
though, wretches as you are, every deliberate 
act of your lives is a new defiance of its 
primary orders ; and as if, for most of the rich 
men of England at this moment, it were not 
indeed to be desired, as the best thing at 
least for them, that the Bible should not be 
true, since against them these words are 
written in it : " The rust of your gold and 
silver shall be a witness against you,, and 
shall eat your flesh, as it were fire." 

III. I pass now to our third condition of 
separation, between the men who work with 
the hand, and those who work with the head. 

And here we have at last an inevitable dis- 
tinction. There must be work done by the 
arms, or none of us could live. There must 
be work done by the brains, or the life we get 
would not be worth having. And the same 
men cannot do both. There is rough work to 
be done, and rough men must do it ; there is 
gentle work to be done, and gentlemen must 
do it ; and it is physically impossible that one 
class should do, or divide, the work of the 



other. And it is of no use to try to conceal 
this sorrowful fact by fine words, and to talk 
to the workman about the honorableness of 
manual labor, and the dignity of humanity. 
That is a grand old proverb of Sancho 
Panza's, " Fine words butter no parsnips ; " 
and I can tell you that, all over England just 
now, you workmen are buying a great deal too 
much butter at that dairy. Rough work, hon- 
orable or not, takes the life out of us; and 
the man who has been heaving clay out of a 
ditch all day, or driving an express train 
against the north wind all night, or holding a 
collier's helm in a gale on a lee-shore, or whirl- 
ing white-hot iron at a furnace mouth, that 
man is not the same at the end of his day, or 
night, as one who has been sitting in a quiet 
room, with everything comfortable about him, 
reading books, or classing butterflies, or paint- 
ing pictures. If it is any comfort to you to 
be told that the rough work is the more honor- 
able of the two, I should be sorry to take that 
much of consolation from you ; and in some 
sense I need not. The rough work is at all 
events real, honest, and, generally, though not 
always, useful ; while the fine work is, a great 
deal of it, foolish and false as well as fine, and 


therefore dishonorable : but when both kinds 
are equally well and worthily done, the head's 
is the noble work, and the hand's the ignoble : 
and of all hand work whatsoever, necessary 
for- the maintenance of life, those old words, 
" In the sweat of thy face thou shaltcat bread," 
indicate that the inherent nature of it is one of 
calamity ; and that the ground, cursed for our 
sake, casts also some shadow of degradation 
into our contest with its thorn and its thistle ; 
so that all nations have held their days honor- 
able, or " holy," and constituted them " holy- 
days," " or holidays," by making them days of 
rest ; and the promise, which, among all our 
distant hopes, seems to cast the chief bright- 
ness over death, is that blessing of the dead 
who die in the Lord, that " they rest from 
their labors, and their works do follow 

And thus the perpetual question and con- 
test must arise, who is to do this rough work ? 
and how is the worker of it to be comforted, 
redeemed, and rewarded ? and what kind of 
play should he have, and what rest, in this 
world, sometimes, as well as in the next? 
Well, my good working friends, these ques* 
tions will take a little time to answer yet 

WORK. 57 

They must be answered : all good men are 
occupied with them, and all honest thinkers. 
There's grand head work doing about them ; 
but much must be discovered, and much at- 
tempted in vain, before anything decisive can 
be told you. Only note these few particulars, 
which are already sure. 

As to the distribution of the hard work. None 
of us, or very few of us, do either hard or soft 
work because we think we ought ; but because 
we have chanced to fall into the way of it, 
and cannot help ourselves. Now, nobody 
does anything well that they cannot help 
doing : work is only done well when it is done 
with a will ; and no man has a thoroughly 
sound will unless he knows he is doing what 
he should, and is in his place. And, depend 
upon it, all work must be done at last, not in 
a disorderly, scrambling, doggish way, but in 
an ordered, soldierly, human way — a lawful 
way. Men are enlisted for the labor that 
kills — the labor of war : they are counted, 
trained, fed, dressed, and praised for that. 
Let them be enlisted also for the labor that 
feeds : let them be counted, trained, fed, 
dressed, praised for that. Teach the plough 
exercise as carefully as you do the sword e* 


ercise, and let the officers of troops of life be 
held as much gentlemen as the officers of 
troops of death ; and all is done : but neither 
this, nor any other right thing, can be accom- 
plished — you can't even see your way to it— 
unless, first of all, both servant and master 
are resolved that, come what will of it, they 
will do each other justice. People are per- 
petually squabbling about what will be best to' 
do, or easiest to do, or adviseablest to do, or 
profitablest to do ; but they never, so far as I 
hear them talk, ever ask what it isyW/to do. 
And it is the law of heaven that you shall not 
be able to judge what is wise or easy, unless 
you are first resolved to judge what is just, 
and to do it. This is the one thing constantly 
reiterated by our Master — the order of all 
others that is given oftenest — " Do justice and 
judgment." That's your Bible order; that's 
the " Service of God," not praying nor psalm- 
singing. You are told, indeed, to sing psalms 
when you are merry, and to pray when you 
need anything ; and, by the perversion of the 
Evil Spirit, we get to think that praying and 
psalm-singing are "service." If a child finds 
itself in want of anything, it runs in and asks 
its father for it — does it call that, doing its 



father a service ? If, it begs for a toy or a 
piece of cake — does it call that serving its 
father ? That, with God, is prayer, and He 
likes to hear it : He likes you to ask Him for 
cake when you want it ; but He doesn't call that 
"serving Him." Begging is not serving: 
God likes mere beggars as little as you do — 
He likes honest servants, not beggars. So 
when a child loves its father very much, and 
is very happy, it may sing little songs about 
him ; but it doesn't call that serving its 
father ; neither is singing songs about God, 
serving God. It is enjoying ourselves, if it's 
anything ; most probably it is nothing ; but if 
it's anything, it is serving ourselves, not God. 
And yet we are impudent enough to call our 
beggings and chauntings " Divine Service : " we 
say "Divine service will be 'performed' 
(that's our word — the form of it gone through) 
"at eleven o'clock." Alas! — unless we per- 
form Divine service in every willing act of our 
life, we never perform it at all. The one 
Divine work — the one ordered sacrifice — is to 
do justice ; and it is the last we are ever in- 
clined to do. Anything rather than that ! 
As much charity as you choose, but no justice. 
** Nay," you will say, " charity is greater than 


justice." Yes, it is greater ; it is the summit 
of justice — it is the temple of which justice is 
the foundation. But you can't have the top 
without the bottom; you cannot build upon 
charity. You must build upon justice, for this 
main reason, that you have not, at first, charity 
to build with. It is the last reward of good 
work. Do justice to your brother (you can do 
that whether you love him or not), and you 
will come to love him. But do injustice to 
him, because you don't love him ; and you will 
come to hate him. It is all very fine to think 
you can build upon charity to begin with ; 
but you will find all you have got to begin 
with, begins at home, and is essentially love 
of yourself. You well-to-do people, for in- 
stance, who are here to-night, will go to 
" Divine service " next Sunday, all nice and 
tidy, and your little children wilj have their 
tight little Sunday boots on, and lovely little 
Sunday feathers in their hats; and you'll 
think, complacently and piously, how lovely 
they look ! So they do : and you love them 
heartily, and you like sticking feathers in their 
hats. That's all right : that is charity ; but it 
is charity beginning at home. Then you will 
come to the poor little crossing-sweeper, got 

WORK. 6l 

up also, — it, in its Sunday dress, — the dirtiest 
rags it has, — that it may beg the better : we 
shall give it a penny, and think how good we 
are. That's charity going abroad. But what 
does Justice say, walking and watching near 
us ? Christian Justice has been strangely 
mute, and seemingly blind ; and, if not blind, 
decrepit, this many a day : she keeps her ac- 
counts still, however — quite steadily — doing 
them at nights, carefully, with her bandage off, 
and through acutest spectacles (the only 
modern scientific invention she cares about). 
You must put your ear down ever so close to 
her lips to hear her speak ; and then you will 
start at what she first whispers, for it will cer- 
tainly be, " Why shouldn't that little cross- 
ing-sweeper have a feather on its head, as well 
as your own child ? " Then you may ask Jus- 
tice in an amazed manner, " How she can pos- 
sibly be so foolish as to think children could 
sweep crossings with feathers on their heads ? " 
Then you stoop again, and Justice says — still 
in her dull, stupid way — " Then, why don't 
you, every other Sunday, leave your child to 
sweep the crossing, and take the little sweeper 
to church in a hat and feather ? " Mercy on 
us (you think), what will she say next ? And 


you answer, of course, that " you don't, because 
everybody ought to remain content in the 
position in which Providence has placed them." 
Ah, my friends, that's the gist of the whole 
question. Did Providence put them in that 
position, cr did you ? You knock a man 
into a ditch, and then you tell him to remain 
content in the " position in which Providence 
has placed him." That's modern Christianity 
You say — " We did not knock him into the 
ditch." How do you know what you have 
done, or are doing ? That's just what we 
have all got to know, and what we shall never 
know until the question with us every morning, 
is, not how to do the gainful thing, but how to 
do the just thing ; nor until we are at least so 
far on the way to being Christian, as to have 
understood that maxim of the poor half-way 
Mahometan, " One hour in the execution of 
justice is worth seventy years of prayer." 

Supposing, then, we have it determined with 
appropriate justice, who is to do the hand 
work, the next questions must be how the 
hand-workers are to be paid, and how they are 
to be refreshed, and what play they are to 
have. Now, the possible quantity of play 
depends on the possible quantity of pay ; and 

WORK. 63 

the quantity of pay is not a matter for con- 
sideration to hand-workers only, but to all 
workers. Generally, good, useful work, 
whether of the hand or head, is either ill-paid, 
or not paid at all. I don't say it should be so, 
but it always is so. People, as a rule, only 
pay for being amused or being cheated, not for 
being served. Five thousand a year to your 
talker, and a shilling a day to your fighter, 
digger, and thinker, is the rule. None of the 
best head work in art, literature, or science, is 
ever paid for. How much do you think Homer 
got for his Iliad ? or Dante for his Paradise ? 
only bitter bread and salt, and going up and 
down other people's stairs. In science, the 
man who discovered the telescope, and first saw 
heaven, was paid with a dungeon ; the man 
who invented the microscope, and first saw 
earth, died of starvation, driven from his 
home : it is indeed very clear that God means 
all thoroughly good work and talk to be done 
for nothing. Baruch, the scribe, did not get 
a penny a line for writing Jeremiah's second 
roll for him, I fancy ; and St. Stephen did not 
get bishop's pay for that long sermon of his to 
the Pharisees ; nothing but stones. For indeed 
that is the world-father's proper payment. So 


surely as any of the world's children work for 
the world's good, honestly, with head and 
heart ; and come to it, saying, " Give us a little 
bread, just to keep the life in us," the world- 
father answers them, " No, my children, not 
bread ; a stone, if you like, or as many as you 
need, to keep you quiet." But the hand-work- 
ers are not so ill off as all this comes to. The 
worst that can happen to you is to break 
stones ; not be broken by them. And for you 
there will come a time for better payment ; 
some day, assuredly, more pence will be paid 
to Peter the Fisherman, and fewer to Peter the 
Pope ; we shall pay people not quite so much 
for talking in Parliament and doing nothing, 
as for holding their tongues out of it and doing 
something ; we shall pay our ploughman a little 
more and our lawyer a little less, and so on : 
but, at least, we may even now take care that 
whatever work is done shall be fully paid for ; 
and the man who does it paid for it, not some- 
body else ; and that it shall be done in an 
orderly, soldierly, well-guided, wholesome 
way, under good captains and lieutenants of 
labor; and that it shall have its appointed 
times of rest, and enough of them ; and that 
in those times the play shall be wholesome 

WORK. 65 

play, not in theatrical gardens, with tin flowers 
and gas sunshine, and girls dancing because 
of their misery ; but in true gardens, with real 
flowers, and real sunshine, and children dancing 
because of their gladness ; so that truly the 
streets shall be full (the " streets," mind you, 
not the gutters) of children, playing in the midst 
thereof. We may take care that working-men 
shall have at least as good books to read as 
anybody else, when they've time to read them ; 
and as comfortable firesides to sit at as anybody 
else when they've time to sit at them. This, I 
think, can be managed for you, my working 
friends, in the good time. 

IV. I must go on, however, to our last head, 
concerning ourselves all, as workers. What 
is wise work, and what is foolish work ? What 
the difference between sense and nonsense, in 
daily occupation ? 

Well, wise work is, briefly, work with God. 
Foolish work is work against God. And work 
done with God, which He will help, may be 
briefly described as " Putting in Order " — that 
is, enforcing God's law of order, spiritual and 
material, over men and things. The first thing 
you have to do, essentially; the real "good 
Work " is, with respect to men, to enforce jus- 


tice, and with respect to things, to enforce tidi 
ness, and f ruitf ulness. And against these two 
great human deeds, justice and order, there 
are perpetually two great demons contending, 
— the devil cf iniquity, or inequity, and the 
devil of disorder, or of death ; for death is only 
consummation of disorder. You have to fight 
these two fiends daily. So far as you don't 
fight against the fiend -of iniquity, you work 
for him. You " work iniquity," and the judg* 
ment upon you, for all your " Lord, Lord's," will 
be " Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." 
And so far as you do not resist the fiend of dis- 
order, you work disorder, and you yourself do 
the work of Death, which is sin, and has for its 
wages, Death himself. 

Observe then, all wise work is mainly three- 
fold in character. It is honest, useful, and 

I. It is honest. I hardly know anything 
more strange than that you recognize honesty 
in play, and you do not in work. In your 
lightest games, you have always some one to 
see what you call " fair-play." In boxing, you 
must hit fair ; in racing, start fair. Your Eng- 
lish watchword is fair-play, your English 
hatred, foul-play, Did it ever strike you that 

WORK. 67 

you wanie<J another watchword also, fair-work, 
and another hatred also, foul-work ? Your 
prize-fighter has some honor in him yet ; and 
so have the men in the ring round him : they 
will judge him to lose the match, by foul hit- 
ting. But your prize-merchant gains his match 
by foul selling, and no one cries out against 
that. You drive a gambler out of the gam- 
bling-room who loads dice, but you leave a 
tradesman in flourishing business who loads 
scales ! For observe, all dishonest dealing /r 
loading scales. What does it matter whether 
I get short weight, adulterate substance, or 
dishonest fabric ? The fault in the fabric is 
incomparably the worst of the two. Give me 
short measure cf food, and I only lose by you ; 
but give me adulterate food, and I die by you. 
Here, then, is your chief duty, you workmen 
and tradesmen — to be true to yourselves, and 
to us who would help you. We can do nothing 
for you, nor you for yourselves, without 
honesty. Get that, you get all ; without that, 
your suffrages, your reforms, your free-trade 
measures, your institutions of science, are all 
in vain. It is useless to put your heads to- 
gether, if you can't put your hearts together. 
Shoulder to shoulder, right hand to right hand, 


among yourselves, and no wrong hand to any* 
body else, and you'll win the world yet. 

II. Then, secondly, wise work is useful. 
No man minds, or ought to mind, its being 
hard, if only it comes to something ; but when 
it is hard, and comes to nothing ; when all 
our bees' business turns to spiders' ; and for 
honey-comb we have only resultant cobweb, 
blown away by the next breeze — that is the 
cruel thing for the worker. Yet do we ever 
ask ourselves, personally, or even nationally, 
whether our work is coming to anything or 
not ? We don't care to keep what has been 
nobly done ; still less do we care to do nobly 
what others would keep ; and, least of all, to 
make the work itself useful instead of deadly 
to the doer, so as to use his life indeed, but 
not to waste it. Of all wastes, the greatest 
waste that you can commit is the waste of 
labor. If you went down in the morning into 
your dairy, and you found that your youngest 
child had got d wn before you ; and that he 
and the cat were at play together, and that he 
had poured out all the cream on the floor for 
the cat to lap up, you would scold the child, 
and be sorry the milk was wasted. But if, 
instead of wooden buuio with milk in tliem^ 

WORK. 69 

there are golden bowls with human life in- 
them, and instead of the cat to play with — the 
devil to play with ; and you yourself the 
player; and instead of leaving that golden 
bowl to be broken by God at the fountain, you 
break it in the dust yourself, and pour the 
human blood out on the ground for the fiend 
to lick up — that is no waste ! What ! you 
perhaps think, " to waste the labor of men is 
not to kill them." Is it not ? I should like to 
know how you could kill them more utterly — 
kill them with second deaths? It is the 
slightest way of killing to stop a man's breath. 
Nay, the hunger, and the cold, and the little 
whistling bullets — our love-messengers be- 
tween nation and nation — have brought 
pleasant messages from us to many a man 
before now ; orders of sweet release, and 
leave at last to go where he will be most 
welcome and most happy. At the worst you 
do but shorten his life, you do not corrupt 
his life. But if you put him to base labor, if 
you bind his thoughts, if you blind his eyes, if 
you blunt his hopes, if you steal his joys, if 
you stunt his body, and blast his soul, and at 
last leave him not so much as to reap the 
poor fruit of his degradation, but gather that 


for yourself, and dismiss him to the grave, 
when you have done with him, having, so far 
as in you lay, made the walls of that grave 
everlasting (though, indeed, I fancy the goodly 
bricks of some of our family vaults will hold 
closer in the resurrection day than the sod 
over the laborer's head), this you think is no 
waste, and no sin ! 

III. Then, lastly, wise work is cheerful, 
as a child's work is. And now I want you to 
take one thought home with you, and let it 
Stay with you. 

Everybody in this room has been taught to 
pray daily, " Thy kingdom come." Now, if we 
liear a man swear in the streets, we think it 
very wrong, and say he " takes God's name in 
vain." But there's a twenty times worse way 
of taking His name in vain than that. It is to 
•ask God for what we dorit want. He doesn't 
like that sort of prayer. If you don't want a 
thing, don't ask for it: such asking is the 
worst mockery of your King you can mock 
Him with ; the soldiers striking Him on the 
head with the reed was nothing to that. If 
you do not wish for His kingdom, don't pray 
for it. But if you do, you must do more than 
pray for it ; you must work for it. And, to 

work. yr 

work for it, you must know what it is: we 
have all prayed for it many a day without 
thinking. Observe, it is a kingdom that is to 
come to us ; we are not to go to it. Also, it is 
not to be a kingdom of the dead, but of the 
living. Also, it is not to come all at once, but 
quietly ; nobody knows how " The kingdom of 
God cometh not with observation." Also, 
it is not to come outside cf us, but in the 
hearts of us : " the kingdom of God is within 
you." And being within us, it is not a thing 
to be seen, but to be felt; and though it 
brings all substance of good with it, it does 
not consist in that : " the kingdom of God is 
not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost : " joy, that is to 
say, in the holy, healthful, and helpful Spirit. 
Now, if we want to work for this kingdom, 
and to bring it, and enter into it, there's just 
one condition to be first accepted. You must 
enter it as children, or not at all ; " Whosoever 
will not receive it as a little child shall not 
enter therein." And again, " Suffer little 
children to come unto me, and forbid them 
not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

Of such, observe. Not of children them- 
selves, but of such as children- I believe 


most mothers who read that text think that all 
heaven is to be full of babies. But that's not 
so. There will be children there, but the 
hoary head is the crown. " Length of days, 
and long life and peace," that is the blessing, 
not to die in babyhood. Children die but for 
their parent's sins ; God means them to live, 
but He can't let them always ; then they have 
their earlier place in heaven : and the little 
child of David, vainly prayed for ; — the little 
child of Jeroboam, killed by its mother's step 
on its own threshold, — they will be there. But 
weary old David, and weary old Barzillai, hav- 
ing learned children's lessons at last, will be 
there too : and the one question for us all, 
young cr old, i3, have we learned our child's 
lesson ? it is the character of children we want, 
and must gain at our peril ; let us see, briefly, 
in what it consists. 

The first character of right childhood is that 
it is Modest. A well-bred child does not 
think it can teach its parents, or that it knows 
everything. It may think its father and 
mother know everything, — perhaps that all 
grown-up people know everything; very cer- 
tainly it is sure that it does not. And it is 
always asking questions, and wanting to know 

work. 73 

more. Well, that is the first character of a 
good and wise man at his work. To know 
that he knows very little ; — to perceive that 
there are many above him wiser than he ; and 
to be always asking questions, wanting to 
learn, not to teach. No one ever teaches well 
who wants to teach, or governs well who wants 
to govern ; it is an old saying (Plato's, but I 
know not if his, first), and as wise as old. 

Then, the second character of right child- 
hood is to be faithful. Perceiving that its 
father knows best what is good for it, and 
having found always, when it has tried its 
own way against his, that he was right and it 
was wrong, a noble child trusts him at last 
wholly, gives him its hand, and will walk 
blindfold with him, if he bids it. And that is 
the true character of all good men also, as 
obedient workers, or soldiers under captains. 
They must trust their captains ; — they are 
bound for their lives to choose none but those 
whom they can trust. Then, they are not 
always to be thinking that what seems strange 
to them, or wrong in what they are desired to 
do, is strange or wrong. They know their 
captain : where he leads they must follow, 
what he bids, they must do ; and without this 


trust and faith, without this captainship and 
soldiership, no great deed, no great salvation, 
is possible to man. Among all the nations it 
is only when this faith is attained by them 
that they become great : the Jew, the Greek, 
and the Mahometan, agree at least in testify- 
ing to this. It was a deed of this absolute 
trust which made Abraham the father of the 
faithful ; it was the declaration of the power of 
God as captain over all men, and the accept- 
ance of a leader appointed by Kim as com- 
mander of the faithful, which laid the founda- 
tion of whatever national power yet exists in 
the East ; and the deed of the Greeks, which 
has become the type of unselfish and noble 
soldiership to all lands, and to all times, was 
commemorated, on the tomb of those who 
gave their lives to do it, in the most pathetic, 
so far as I know, or can feel, of all human 
utterances : " Oh, stranger, go and tell our 
people that we are lying here, having obeyed 
their words." 

Then the third character of right childhood 
is to be Loving and Generous. Give a little 
iove to a child, and you get a great deal back. 
It loves everything near it, when it is a right 
kind of child — would hurt nothing, would 



give the best it has away, always, if you need, 
it — does not lay plans for getting everything 
in the house for itself, and delights in helping 
people ; you cannot please it so much as by 
giving it a chance of being useful, in ever so» 
little a way. 

And because of all these characters, lastly, 
it is Cheerful. Putting its trust in its father, 
it is careful for nothing — being full of love to^ 
every creature, it is happy always, whether in 
its play or in its duty. Well, that's the great- 
worker's character also. Taking no thought 
for the morrow ; taking thought only for the- 
duty of the day ; trusting somebody else to take- 
care of to-morrow ; knowing indeed what labor 
is, but not what sorrow is ; and always ready 
for play, — beautiful play, — for lovely human 
play is like the play of the Sun. There's a 
worker for you. He, steady to his time, is set 
as a strong man to run his course, but also, 
he rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course. 
See how he plays in the morning, with the 
mists below, and the clouds above, with a ray 
here and a flash there, and a shower of jewels, 
everywhere ; — that's the Sun's play ; and great 
human play is like his — all various — all full> 
of light and life, and tender, as the dew of the- 


So then, you have the child's character in 
these four things — Humility, Faith, Charity, 
and Cheerfulness. That's what you have got 
to be converted to. " Except ye be converted 
and become as little children " — You hear 
much of conversion nowadays; but people 
always seem to think you have got to be made 
wretched by conversion, — to be converted to 
long faces. No, friends, you have got to be 
converted to short ones ; you have to repent 
into childhood, to repent into delight, and de- 
lightsomeness. You can't go into a convent- 
icle but you'll hear plenty of talk of back- 
sliding. Backsliding, indeed ! I can tell you, 
on the ways most of us go, the faster we slide 
back the better. Slide back into the cradle, 
if going on is into the grave — back, I tell you ; 
back — out of your long faces, and into your 
long clothes. It is among children only, and 
as children only, that you will find medicine 
for your healing and true wisdom for your 
teaching. There is poison in the counsels of 
the man of this world ; the words they speak 
are all bitterness, " the poison of asps is under 
their lips," but " the sucking child shall play 
by the hole of the asp." There is death in the 
looks o£ meo. "Their eyes are privily set 

WORK. ft 

against the poor ; " they are as the uncharm- 
able serpent, the cockatrice, which slew by- 
seeing. But " the weaned child shall lay his 
hand on the cockatrice den." There is death 
in the steps of men : " their feet are swift to 
shed blood ; they have compassed us in our 
steps like the lion that is greedy of his prey, 
and the young lion lurking in secret places," 
but, in that kingdom, the wolf shall lie down 
with the lamb, and the fatling with the lion, 
and " a little child shall lead them." There 
is death in the thoughts of men ; the world is 
one wide riddle to them, darker and darker as 
it dxaws to a close ; but the secret of it is 
known to the child, and the Lord of heaven 
and earth is most to be thanked in that " He 
has hidden these things from the wise and 
prudent, and has revealed them unto babes." 
Yes, and there is death — infinitude of death 
in the principalities and powers of men. As 
far as the east is from the west, so far our sins 
are — not set from us, but multiplied around 
us : the Sun himself, think you he now " re- 
joices " to run his course, when he plunges 
westward to the horizon, so widely red, not 
with clouds, but blood ? And it will be red 
more widely yet. Whatever drought of the 


early and latter rain may be, there will be none 
of that red rain. You fortify yourselves against 
it in vain ; the enemy and avenger will be 
upon you also, unless you learn that it is not 
out of the mouths of the knitted gun, or the 
smoothed rifle, but "out of the mouths of 
babes and sucklings " that the strength is or- 
dained, which shall "still the enemy and 




(Delivered in the Town Hall, Bradford!) 

My good Yorkshire friends, you have asked 
me down here among your hills that I might 
talk to you about this Exchange you are going 
to build ; but earnestly and seriously asking 
you to pardon me, I am going to do nothing 
of the kind. I cannot talk, or at least can say 
very little, about this same Exchange. I must 
talk of quite other things, though not un- 
willingly ; — I could not deserve your pardon, 
if when you invited me to speak on one sub- 
ject, I wilfully spoke on another. But I can- 
not speak, to purpose, of anything about 
which I do not care ; and most simply and 
Sorrowfully I have to tell you, in the outset, 
that I do not care about this Exchange of 

If, however, when you sent me your invita- 
tion, I had answered, " I won't come, I don't 
6 8x 


care about the Exchange of Bradford," you 
would have been justly offended with me, not 
knowing the reason of so blunt a carelessness. 
So I have come down, hoping that you will 
patiently let me tell you why, on this, and 
many other such occasions, I now remain 
silent, when formerly I should have caught at 
the opportunity of speaking to a gracious au- 

In a word, then, I do not care about this 
Exchange, — because you don't; and because 
you know perfectly well I cannot make you. ' 
Look at the essential circumstances of the 
case, which you, as business men, know per- 
fectly well, though perhaps you think I forget 
them. You are going to spend 30,000/., 
which to you, collectively, is nothing ; the buy- 
ing a new coat is, as to the cost of it, a much 
more important matter of consideration to me 
than building a new Exchange is to you. But 
you think you may as well have the right 
thing for your money. You know there are a 
great many odd styles of architecture about ; 
you don't want to do anything ridiculous ; 
you hear of me, among others, as a respectable 
architectural man-milliner : and you send for 
me, that I may tell you the leading fashion; 


and what is, in our shops, for the moment, the 
newest and sweetest thing in pinnacles. 

Now, pardon me for telling you frankly, you 
cannot have good architecture merely by 
asking people's advice on occasion. All good 
architecture is the expression of national life 
and character, and it is produced by a pre- 
valent and eager national taste, or desire for 
beauty. And I want you to think a little of 
the deep significance of this word " taste ; " for 
no statement of mine has been more earnestly 
or oftener controverted than that good taste is 
essentially a moral quality. " No," say many 
of my antagonists, " taste is one thing, morality 
is another. Tell us what is pretty ; we shall 
be glad to know that ; but preach no sermons 
to us." 

Permit me, therefore, to fortify this old 
dogma of mine somewhat. Taste is not only 
a part and an index of morality — it is the only 
morality. The first, and last, and closest trial 
question to any living creature is, " What do 
you like ? " Tell me what you like, and I'll tell 
you what you are. Go out into the street, and 
ask the first man or woman you meet, what 
their "taste " is, and if they answer candidly, 
you know them, body and soul. u You, my 


friend in the rags, with the unsteady gait, what 
do you like ? " " A pipe and a quartern of gin." 
I know you. " You, my good woman, with the 
quick step and tidy bonnet, what do you like ? " 
" A swept hearth and a clean tea-table, and my 
husband opposite me, and a baby at my breast." 
Good, I know you also. " You, little girl with 
the golden hair and soft eyes, what do you 
like ? " " My canary, and a run among the 
wood hyacinths." "You, little boy with the 
dirty hands and the low forehead, what do you 
like ? " "A shy at the sparrows, and a game 
at pitch-farthing." Good ; we know them all 
now. What more need we ask? 

" Nay," perhaps you answer : " we need 
rather to ask what these people and children 
do, than what they like. If they do right, it is 
no matter that they like what is wrong ; and if 
they do wrong, it is no matter that they like 
what is right. Doing is the great thing ; and 
it does not matter that the man likes drinking, 
so that he does not drink ; nor that the little 
girl likes to be kind to her canary, if she will 
not learn her lessons ; nor that the little boy 
likes throwing stones at the sparrows, if he 
goes to the Sunday school." Indeed, for a 
short time, and in a provisional sense, this is 


true. For if, resolutely, people do what is 
right, in time they come to like doing it. But 
they only are in a right moral stage when they 
have come to like doing it ; and as long as they 
don't like it, they are still in a vicious state. 
The man is not in health of body who is always 
thirsting for the bottle in the cupboard, though 
he bravely bears his thirst ; but the man who 
heartily enjoys water in the morning and wine 
in the evening, each in its proper quantity and 
time. And the entire object of true education 
is to make people not merely do the right 
things, but enjoy the right things — not merely 
industrious, but to love industry — not merely 
learned, but to love knowledge — not merely 
pure, but to love purity — not merely just, but 
to hunger and thirst after justice. 

But you may answer or think, " Is the liking 
for outside ornaments, — for pictures, for stat- 
ues, or furniture, or architecture, — a moral 
quality ? " Yes, most surely, if a rightly set 
liking. Taste for any pictures or statues is 
not a moral quality, but taste for good ones is. 
Only here again we have to define the word 
" good." I don't mean by " good," clever — or 
learned — or difficult in the doing. Take a 
picture by Teniers, of sots quarrelling over 


their dice : it i3 an entirely clever picture ; SO 
clever that nothing in its kind has ever been 
done equal to it ; but it is also an entirely base 
and evil picture. It is an expression of delight 
in the prolonged contemplation of a vile thing, 
and delight in that is an " unmannered," or 
" immoral " quality. It is "bad taste " in the 
profoundest sense — it is the taste of the devils. 
On the other hand, a picture of Titian's, or a 
Greek statue, or a Greek coin, or a Turner 
landscape, expresses delight in the perpetual 
contemplation of a good and perfect thing. 
That is an entirely moral quality — it is the 
taste of the angels. And all delight in art, and 
all love cf it, resolve themselves into simple 
love of that which deserves love. That de- 
serving is thequality which we call " loveliness " 
— (we ought to have an opposite word, hate- 
liness, to be said of the things which deserve 
to be hated) ; and it is not an indifferent nor 
optional thing whether we love this or that ; 
but it is just the vital function of all our being. 
What we like determines what we are, and is 
the sign of what we are ; and to teach taste is 
inevitably to form character. As I was thinking 
over this, in walking up Fleet Street the other 
day, my eye caught the title of a book standing 


open in a bookseller's window. It was — " On 
the necessity of the diffusion of taste among 
all classes." " Ah," I thought to myself, " my 
classifying friend, when you have diffused your 
taste, where will your classes be ? The man 
who likes what you like, belongs to the same 
class with you, I think. Inevitably so. You 
may put him to other work if you choose ; but, 
by the condition you have brought him into, 
he will dislike the other work as much as you 
would yourself. You get hokl of a scavenger, 
or a costermonger, who enjoyed the Newgate 
Calendar for literature, and ' Pop goes the 
Weasel ! ' for music. You think you can make 
him like Dante or Beethoven ? I wish you joy 
of your lessons ; but if you do, you have made 
a gentleman of him : — he won't like to go back 
to his costermongering." 

And as completely and unexceptionally is 
this so, that, if I had time to-night, I could 
show you that a nation cannot be affected by 
any vice, or weakness, without expressing it, 
legibly, and forever, either in bad art, or by 
want of art ; and that there is no national 
virtue, small or great, which is not manifestly 
expressed in all the art which circumstances 
enable the people possessing that virtue to 


produce. Take, for instance, your great Eng- 
lish virtue of enduring and patient courage. 
You have at present in England only one art 
of any consequence — that is, iron-working. 
You know thoroughly well how to cast and 
hammer iron. Now, do you think in those 
masses of lava which you build volcanic 
cones to melt, and which you forge at the 
mouths of the Infernos you have created ; do 
you think, on those iron plates, your courage 
and endurance are not written forever — not 
merely with an iron pen, but on iron parch- 
ment ? And take also your great English vice 
— European vice — vice cf all the world — vice 
of all other worlds that roll or shine in heaven, 
bearing with them yet the atmosphere of hell 
— the vice of jealousy, which brings competi- 
tion into commerce, treachery into your coun- 
cils, and dishonor into your wars — that vice 
which has rendered for you, and for your next 
neighboring nation, the daily occupations of 
existence no longer possible, but with the mail 
upon your breasts and the sword loose in its 
sheath ; so that, at last, you have realized for 
all the multitudes of the two great peoples 
who lead the so-called civilization of the earth, 
—you have realized for them all, I say, in 


person and in policy, what was once true only 
of the rough Border riders of your Cheviot 

They carved at the meal 
With gloves of steel, 
And they drank the red wine through the helmet 
barr'd; — 

do you think that this national shame and 
dastardliness of heart are not written as legibly 
on every rivet of your iron armor as the 
strength of the right hands that forged it ? 
Friends, I know not whether this thing be the 
more ludicrous or the more melancholy. It is 
quite unspeakably both. Suppose, instead of 
being now sent for by you, I had been sent 
for by some private gentleman, living in a 
suburban house, with his garden separated 
only by a fruit-wall from his next-door neigh- 
bor's ; and he had called me to consult with 
him on the furnishing of his drawing-room. I 
begin looking about me, and find the walls 
rather bare ; I think such and such a paper 
might be desirable — perhaps a little fresco 
here and there on the ceiling — a damask cur- 
tain or so at the windows. " Ah," says my 
employer, " damask curtains, indeed ! That's 
all very fine, but you know I can't afford that 



kind of thing just now!" "Yet the world 
credits you with a splendid income ! " " Ah, 
yes," says my friend, " but do you know, at 
present, I am obliged to spend it nearly all 
in steel-traps ? " " Steel-traps ! for whom ? " 
"Why, for that fellow on the other side the 
wall, you know : we're very good friends, cap- 
ital friends \ but we are obliged to keep our 
traps set on both sides of the wall ; we could 
not possibly keep on friendly terms without 
them, and our spring-guns. The worst of it 
is, we are both clever fellows enough ; and 
there's never a day passes that we don't find 
out a new trap, or a new gun-barrel, or some- 
thing ; we spend about fifteen millions a year 
each in our traps, take it all together ; and I 
don't see how we're to do with less. " A highly 
comic state of life for two private gentlemen ! 
but for two nations, it seems to me, not wholly 
comic ! Bedlam would be comic, perhaps, if 
there were only one madman in it; and your 
Christmas pantomime is comic, when there is 
only one clown in it ; but when the whole 
world turns clown, and paints itself red with 
its own heart's blood instead of vermilion, it 
is something else than comic, I think. 

Mind, I know a great deal of this is play, 


and willingly allow for that. You don't know 
what to do with yourselves for a sensation : 
fox-hunting and cricketing will not carry you 
through the whole of this unendurably long 
mortal life ; you liked pop-guns when you 
were schoolboys, and rifles and Armstrongs 
are only the same things better made: but 
then the worst of it is, that what was play to 
you when boys, was not play to the sparrows ; 
and what is play to you now, is not play to 
the small birds of State neither ; and for the 
black eagles, you are somewhat shy of taking 
shots at them, if I mistake not. 

I must get back to the matter in hand, how- 
ever. Believe me, without farther instance, I 
could show you, in all time, that every nation's 
vice, or virtue, was written in its art: the 
soldiership of early Greece ; the sensuality of 
late Italy ; the visionary religion of Tuscany ; 
the splendid human energy and beauty of 
Venice. I have no time to do this to-night 
(I have done it elsewhere before now) ; but I 
proceed to apply the principle to ourselves in 
a more searching manner. 

I notice that among all the new buildings 
that cover your once wild hills, churches and 
schools are mixed in due, that is to say, io 


large proportion, with your mills and man- 
sions ; and I notice also that the churches and 
schools are almost always Gothic, and the 
mansions and mills are never Gothic Will 
you allow me to ask precisely the meaning of 
this ? For remember, it is peculiarly a mod- 
ern phenomenon. When Gothic was invented, 
houses were Gothic as well as churches ; and 
when the Italian style superseded the Gothic, 
churches were Italian as well as houses. If 
there is a Gothic spire to the cathedral of Ant- 
werp, if there is a Gothic belfry to the Hotel de 
Ville at Brussels ; if Inigo Jones builds an Ital- 
ian Whitehall, Sir Christopher Wren builds an 
Italian St. Paul's. But now you live under 
one school of architecture, and worship under 
another. What do you mean by doing this ? 
Am I to understand that you are thinking of 
changing your architecture back to Gothic ; 
and that you treat your churches experiment- 
ally, because it does not matter what mis- 
takes you make in a church ? Or am I to un- 
derstand that you consider Gothic a pre-emi- 
nently sacred and beautiful mode of building, 
which you think, like the fine frankincense, 
should be mixed for the tabernacle only,, and 
reserved for your religious services ? For if 


this be the feeling, though it may seem at first 
as if it were graceful and reverent, you will 
find that, at the root of the matter, it signifies 
neither more nor less than that you have 
separated your religion from your life. 

For consider what a wide significance this 
fact has ; and remember that it is not you only, 
but all the people of England, who are behav- 
ing thus just now. 

You have all got into the habit of calling the 
church " the house of God." I have seen, over 
the doors of many churches, the legend act- 
ually carved, " This is the house of God, and 
this is the gate of heaven." Now, note where 
that legend comes from, and of what place it 
was first spoken. A boy leaves his father's 
house to go on a long journey on foot, to visit 
his uncle ; he has to cross a wild hill-desert ; 
just as if one of your own boys had to cros3 
the wolds of Westmoreland, to visit an uncle 
at Carlisle. The second or third day your boy 
finds himself somewhere between Hawes and 
Brough, in the midst of the moors, at sunset. 
It is stony ground, and boggy ; he cannot go 
one foot farther that night. Down he lies, to 
sleep, on Wharnside, where best he may, 
gathering a few of the stones together to 


put under his head ; — so wild the place is, he 
cannot get anything but stones. And there, 
lying under the broad night, he has a 
dream ; and he sees a ladder set up on the 
earth, and the top of it reaches to heaven, and 
the angels of God are ascending and descend- 
ing upon it. And when he wakes out of his 
sleep, he says, " How dreadful is this place ; 
surely, this is none other than the house of 
God, and this is the gate of heaven." This 
place, observe ; not this church ; not this 
city ; not this stone, even, which he puts up 
for a memorial — the piece of flint on which his 
head has lain. But this place; this windy 
slope of Wharnside ; this moorland hollow, 
torrent-bitten, snow-blighted ; this any » place 
where God lets down the ladder. And how 
are you to know where that will be ? or how 
are you to determine where it may be, but by 
being ready for it always ? Do you know 
where the lightning is to fall next ? You do 
know that, partly ; you can guide the lightning ; 
but you cannot guide the going forth of the 
Spirit, which is that lightning when it shines 
from the east to the west. 

But the perpetual and insolent warping of 
that strong verse to serve a merely ecclesiastic 



Cai purpose, is only one of the thousand in- 
stances in which we sink back into gross 
Judaism. We call our churches " temples." 
Now, you know, or ought to know, they are 
not temples. They have never had, never can 
have, anything whatever to do with temples. 
They are "synagogues" — "gathering places" 
—where you gather yourselves together as an 
assembly; and by not calling them so, you 
again miss the force of another mighty text— 
" Thou, when thou prayest, shalt not be as the 
hypocrites are ; for they love to pray standing 
in the churches" [we should translate it], "that 
they may be seen of men. But thou, when 
thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when 
thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father," — 
which is, not in chancel nor in aisle, but " in 

Now, you feel, as I say this to you — I know 
you feci — as if I were trying to take away the 
honor of your churches. Not so ; I am trying 
to prove to you the honor of your houses and 
your hills ; I am trying to show you — not that 
the Church is not sacred — but that the whole 
Earth is. I would have you feel, what care- 
less, what constant, what infectious sin there 
is in all modes of thought, whereby, in calling 


your churches only "holy, "you call your hearths 
and homes profane ; and have separated 
yourselves from the heathen by casting all 
your household gods to the ground, instead of 
recognizing, in the place of their many and 
feeble Lares, the presence of your One and 
Mighty Lord and Lor. 

" But what has all this to do with our Ex- 
change ? " you ask me, impatiently. My dear 
friends, it has just everything to do with it ; 
on these inner and great questions depend all 
the outer and little ones ; and if you have 
asked me down here to speak to you be- 
cause you had before been interested in any- 
thing I have written, you must know that all 
I have yet said about architecture was to show 
this. The book I called " The Seven Lamps " 
was to show that certain right states of temper 
and moral feeling were the magic powers by 
which all good architecture, without exception, 
had been produced. " The Stones of Venice " 
had, from beginning to end, no other aim than 
to show that the Gothic architecture of Venice 
had arisen out of, and indicated in all its 
features, a state of pure national faith, and of 
domestic virtue ; and that its Renaissance 
architecture had arisen out of, and in all its 


features indicated, a state of concealed national 
infidelity, and of domestic corruption. And 
now, you ask me what style is best to build 
in ; and how can I answer, knowing the mean- 
ing of the two styles, but by another question — 
do you mean to build as Christians or as In- 
fidels ? And still more — do you mean to build 
as honest Christians or as honest Infidels ? as 
thoroughly and confessedly either one or the 
other ? You don't like to be asked such rude 
questions. I cannot help it ; they are of much 
more importance then this Exchange business j 
and if they can be at once answered, the Ex- 
change business settles itself in a moment. 
But, before I press them farther, I must ask 
leave to explain one point clearly. In all my 
past work, my endeavor has been to show that 
good architecture is essentially religious — the 
production of a faithful and virtuous, not of an 
infidel and corrupted people. But in the course 
of doing this, I have had also to show that 
good architecture is not ecclesiastical. People 
are so apt to look upon religion as the busi- 
ness of the clergy, not their own, that the 
moment they hear of anything depending on 
" religion," they think it must also have de- 
pended on the priesthood ; and I have had to 


take what place was to be occupied between 
these two errors, and fight both, often with 
seeming contradiction. Good architecture is 
the work of good and believing men ; there- 
fore, you say, at least some people say, " Good 
architecture must essentially have been the 
work of the clergy, not of the laity." No — a 
thousand times no ; good architecture has 
always been the work of the commonatly, not of 
the clergy. What, you say, those glorious 
cathedrals — the pride of Europe — did their 
builders not form Gothic architecture ? No ; 
they corrupted Gothic architecture. Gothic 
was formed in the baron's castle, and the 
burgher's street. It was formed by the 
thoughts, and hands, and powers of free citizens 
and soldier kings. By the monk it was used 
as an instrument for the aid of his superstition ; 
when that superstition became a beautiful mad- 
ness, and the best hearts of Europe vainly 
dreamed and pined in the cloister, and vainly 
raged and perished in the crusade — through 
that fury of perverted faith and wasted war, 
the Gothic rose also to its loveliest, most fan- 
tastic, and, finally most foolish dreams ; and, 
in those dreams, was lost. 

I hope, now, that there is no risk of your 


misunderstanding me when I come to the gist 
of what I want to say to-night — when I repeat, 
that every great national architecture has been 
the result and exponent of a great national re- 
ligion. You can't have bits of it here, bits 
there — you must have it everywhere, or no- 
where. It is not the monopoly of a clerical 
company — it is not the exponent of a theological 
dogma — it is not the hieroglyphic writing of an 
initated priesthood ; it is the manly language 
of a people inspired by resolute and common 
purpose, and rendering resolute and common 
fidelity to the legible laws of an undoubted God. 
Now, there have as yet been three distinct 
schools of European architecture. I say, 
European, because Asiatic and African archi- 
tectures belong so entirely to other races and 
climates, that there is no question of them 
here ; only, in passing, I will simply assure 
you that whatever is good or great in Egypt, 
and Syria, and India, is just good or great for 
the same reasons as the buildings on our side 
of the Bosphorus. We Europeans, then, have 
had three great religions ; the Greek, which 
was the worship of the God of Wisdom and 
Power ; the Mediaeval, which was the Worship 
of the God of Judgment and Consolation : the 


Renaissance, which was the worship of the 
God of Pride and Beauty ; these three we have 
had — they are past, — and now, at last, we 
English have got a fourth; religion, and a God 
of our own, about which I want to ask you. 
But I must explain these three old ones first. 

I repeat, first, the Greeks essentially wor- 
shipped the God of Wisdom ; so that what- 
ever contended against their religion, — to the 
Jews a stumbling-block, — was, to the Greeks 
— Foolishness. 

The first Greek idea of Deity was that ex- 
pressed in the word, of which we keep the 
remnant in our words, " Z?/-urnal " and " Di- 
vine " — the god of Day, Jupiter the revealer. 
Athena is his daughter, but especially daughter 
of the Intellect, springing armed from the 
head. We are only with the help of recent 
investigation beginning to penetrate the depth 
of meaning couched under the Athenaic sym- 
bols ; but I may note rapidly, that her aegis 
the mantle with the serpent fringes, in which 
she often, in the best statues, is represented 
as folding up her left hand for better guard, 
and the Gorgon on her shield, are both repre- 
sentative mainly of the chilling horror and 
sadness (turning men to stone, as it were), of 


the outmost and superficial spheres of knowl- 
edge — that knowledge which separates, in 
bitterness, hardness, and sorrow, the heart of 
the full-grown man from the heart of the 
child. For out of imperfect knowledge spring 
terror, dissension, danger, and disdain ; but 
from perfect knowledge, given by the full- 
revealed Athena, strength and peace, in sign 
of which she is crowned with the olive spray* 
and bears the resistless spear. 

This, then, was the Greek conception of 
purest Deity, and every habit of life, and every 
form of his art developed themselves from the 
seeking this bright, serene, resistless wisdom \ 
and setting himself, as a man, to do things 
evermore rightly and strongly ; * not with any 

* It is an error to suppose that the Greek worship* 
or seeking, was chiefly of Beauty. It was essentially of 
Rightness and Strength founded on Forethought ; the 
principal character of Greek art is not Beauty, but de- 
sign ; and the Dorian Apollo-worship and Athenian 
Virgin- worship are both expressions of adoration of 
divine Wisdom and Purity. Next to these great 
deities rank, in power over the national mind, Diony- 
sus and Ceres, the givers of human strength and life j 
then, for heroic example, Hercules. There is no Venue* 
worship among the Greeks in the great times ; and the 
Muses are essentially teachers of Truth, and of its har» 


ardent affection or ultimate hope ; but with a 
resolute and contingent energy of will, as know- 
ing that for failure there was no consolation, 
and for sin there was no remission. And the 
Greek architecture rose unerring, bright, 
clearly defined, and self-contained. 

Next followed in Europe the great Christian 
faith, which was essentially the religion cf 
Comfort. Its great doctrine is the remission 
of sins ; for which cause it happens, too often, 
in certain phases of Christianity, that sin and 
sickness themselves are partly glorified, as if, 
the more you have to be healed of, the 
more divine was the healing. The practi- 
cal result of this doctrine, in art, is a continual 
contemplation of sin and disease, and of 
imaginary states of purification from them ; 
thus we have an architecture conceived in a 
mingled sentiment of melancholy and aspira- 
tion, partly severe, partly luxuriant, which will 
bend itself to every one of our needs, and 
every one of our fancies, and be strong or 
weak with us, as we are strong or weak our- 
selves. It is, of all architecture, the basest, 
when base people build it — of all, the noblest, 
When built by the noble. 

And now note that both these religions—* 



Greek and Mediaeval — perished by falsehood in 
their own main purpose. The Greek religion of 
Wisdom perished in a false philosophy — " Op- 
positions of science, falsely so called." The 
Mediaeval religion of Consolation perished in 
false comfort ; in remission of sins given ly- 
ingly. It was the selling of absolution that 
ended the Mediaeval faith ; and I can tell you 
more, it is the selling of absolution which, to 
the end of time, will mark false Christianity. 
Pure Christianity gives her remission of sins 
only by ending them ; but false Christianity 
gets her remission of sins by compounding for 
them. And there are many ways of compound- 
ing for them. We English have beautiful 
little quiet ways of buying absolution, whether 
in low Church or high, far more cunning than 
any of Tetzel's trading. 

Then, thirdly, there followed the religion of 
Pleasure, in which all Europe gave itself to 
luxury, ending in death. First, bals masques 
in every saloon, and then guillotines in every 
square. And all these three worships issue in 
vast temple building. Your Greek worshipped 
Wisdom, and built you the Parthenon — the 
Virgin's temple. The Mediaeval worshipped 
Consolation, and built you Virgin temples also 


—but to our Lady of Salvation. Then the 
Revivalist worshipped beauty, of a sort, and 
built you Versailles, and the Vatican. Now, 
lastly, will you tell me what ive worship, and 
what we build ? 

You know we are speaking always of the 
real, active, continual, national worship ; that 
by which men act while they live ; not that 
which they talk of when they die. Now, we 
have, indeed, a nominal religion, to which we 
pay tithes of property and sevenths of time ; 
but we have also a practical and earnest 
religion, to which we devote nine-tenths of our 
property and sixth-sevenths of our time. And 
we dispute a great deal about the nominal 
religion ; but we are all unanimous about this 
practical one, of which I think you will admit 
that the ruling goddess may be best generally 
described as the " Goddess of Getting-on," or 
" Britannia of the Market." The Athenians 
had an '* Athena Agoraia," or Minerva of the 
Market ; but she was a subordinate type of 
their goddess, while our Britannia Agoraia is 
the principal type of ours. And all your great 
architectural works, are, of course, built to her. 
It is long since you built a great cathedral ; 
and how you would laugh at me, if I proposed 


building a cathedral on the top of one of these 
hills of yours, taking it for an Acropolis ! But 
your railroad mounds, prolonged masses of 
Acropolis ; your railroad stations, vaster than 
the Parthenon, and innumerable ; your chim- 
neys, how much more mighty and costly than 
cathedral spires ! your harbor-piers ; your ware- 
houses ; your exchanges ! — all these are built 
to your great Goddess of " Getting-on ; " and 
she has formed, and will continue to form, your 
architecture, as long as you worship her ; and 
it is quite vain to ask me to tell you how to 
build to her; you know far better than I. 

There might indeed, on some theories, be a 
conceivably good architecture for Exchanges 
— that is to say if there were any heroism in 
the fact or deed of exchange, which might be 
typically carved on the outside of your build- 
ing. For, you know, all beautiful architecture 
must be adorned with sculpture or painting ; 
and for sculpture or painting, you must have a 
subject. And hitherto it has been a received 
opinion among the nations of the world that the 
only right subjects for either, were heroisms of 
some sort. Even on his pots and his flagons, 
the Greek put a Hercules slaying lions, or an 
Apollo slaying serpents, or Bacchus slaying 


melancholy giants, and earth-borne despond- 
encies. On his temples, the Greek put con- 
tests of great warriors in founding states, or of 
gods with evil spirits. On his houses and 
temples alike, the Christian put carvings of 
angels conquering devils ; or of hero-martyrs 
exchanging this world for another ; subject 
inappropriate, I think, to our manner of ex- 
change here. And the Master of Christians 
not only left his followers without any orders 
as to the sculpture of affairs of exchange on 
the outside of buildings, but gave some strong 
evidence of his dislike of affairs of exchange 
within them. And yet there might surely be a 
heroism in such affairs ; and all commerce 
become a kind of selling of doves, not im- 
pious. The wonder has always been great 
to me, that heroism has never been supposed 
to be in anywise consistent with the practice 
of supplying people with food, or clothes; 
but rather with that of quartering oneself 
upon them for food, and stripping them of 
their clothes. Spoiling of armor is an heroic 
-deed in all ages ; but the selling of clothes, 
old or new, has never taken any color of mag- 
nanimity. Yet one does not see why feeding 
the hungry and clothing the naked should 


ever become base businesses, even when en- 
gaged in on a large scale. If one could con- 
trive to attach the notion of conquest to them 
anyhow? so that, supposing there were any- 
where an obstinate race, who refused to be 
comforted, one might take some pride in giv- 
ing them compulsory comfort ; and as it were, 
" occupying a country " with one's gifts, in- 
stead of one's armies ? If one could only con- 
sider it as much a victory to get a barren field 
sown, as to get an eared field stripped ; and 
contend who should build villages, instead of 
who should " carry " them. Are not all forms 
of heroism conceivable in doing these service- 
able deeds ? You doubt who is strongest ? 
It might be ascertained by push of spade, as 
well as push of sword. Who is wisest? 
There are witty things to be thought of in 
planning other business than campaigns. 
Who is bravest? There are always the 
elements to fight with, stronger than men; 
and nearly as merciless. The only absolutely 
and unapproachably heroic element in the 
soldier's work seems to be — that he is paid 
little for it — and regularly : while you traffick- 
ers, and exchangers, and others occupied in 
presumably benevolent business, like to be 


paid much for it — and by chance. I never 
can make out how it is that a knight-errant 
does not expect to be paid for his trouble, but 
a pedler-errant always does ; — that people are 
willing to take hard knocks for nothing, but 
never to sell ribbons cheap ; — that they are 
ready to go on fervent crusades to recover the 
tomb of a buried God, never on any travels to 
fulfil the orders of a living God ; — that they 
will go anywhere barefoot to preach their 
faith, but must be well bribed to practise it, 
and are perfectly ready to give the Gospel 
gratis, but never the loaves and fishes. If 
you choose to take the matter up on any such 
soldierly principle, to do your commerce, and 
your feeding of nations, for fixed salaries ; and 
to be as particular about giving people the 
best food, and the best cloth, as soldiers are 
about giving them the best gunpowder, I could 
carve something for you on your exchange 
worth looking at. But I can only at present 
suggest decorating its frieze with pendant 
purses ; and making its pillars broad at the 
base, for the sticking of bills. And in the 
innermost chambers of it there might be a 
statue of Britannia of the Market, who may 
have, perhaps advisably, a partridge for hex 


crest, typical at once of her courage in fighting 
for noble ideas ; and of her interest in game ; 
and round its neck the inscription in golden 
letters, " Perdix fovit quae non peperit." * 
Then, for her spear, she might have a weaver's 
beam ; and on her shield, instead of her Cross, 
the Milanese boar, semi-fleeced, with the 
town of Gennesaret proper, in the field and 
the legend " In the best market," and her 
corselet, of leather, folded over her heart in the 
shape of a purse, with thirty slits in it for a 
piece of money to go in at, on each day of the 
month. And I doubt not but that people 
would come to see your exchange, and its god- 
dess, with applause. 

Nevertheless, I want to point out to you 
certain strange characters in this goddess o£ 
yours. She differs from the great Greek and 
Mediaeval deities essentially in two things — • 
first, as to the continuance of her presumed 
power ; secondly, as to the extent of it. 

1st, as to the Continuance. 

* Jerem. xvii. (best in Septuagint and Vulgate). 
"As the partridge, fostering what she brought not 
forth, so he that getteth riches not by right, shall leave 
them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a 


The Greek Goddess of Wisdom gave con« 
tinual increase of wisdom, as the Christian 
Spirit of Comfort (or Comforter) continual in- 
crease of comfort. There was no question, 
with these, of any limit or cessation of func- 
tion. But with your Agora Goddess, that is 
just the most important question. Getting on 
— but where to ? Gathering together — but 
how much ? Do you mean to gather always 
— never to spend ? If so, I wish you joy of 
your goddess, for I am just as well off as you, 
without the trouble of worshipping her at all. 
But if you do not spend, somebody else will — 
somebody else must. And it is because of 
this (among many other such errors) that I 
have fearlessly declared your so-called science 
of Political Economy to be no science; 
because, namely, it has omitted the study of 
exactly the most important branch of the busi- 
ness — the study of spending. For spend you 
must, and as much as you make, ultimately. 
You gather corn : — will you bury England 
under a heap of grain ; or will you, when you 
have gathered, finally eat ? You gather gold : 
— will you make your house-roofs of it, or 
pave your streets with it ? That is still one 
way of spending it. But if you keep it, you 


may get more, I'll give you more ; I'll give 
you all the gold you want — all you can imagine 
— if you can tell me what you'll do with it. 
You shall have thousands of gold pieces ;— » 
thousands of thousands — millions — mountains, 
of gold : where will you keep them ? Will you 
put an Olympus of silver upon a golden Pelion 
— make Ossa like a wart ? Do you think the 
rain and dew would then come down to you, 
in the streams from such mountains, more 
blessedly than they will down the mountains 
which God has made for you, of moss and 
whinstone ? But it is not gold that you want 
to gather! What is it? greenbacks? No; 
not those neither. What is it then — is it 
ciphers after a capital I ? Cannot you prac- 
tise writing ciphers, and write as many as you 
want ? Write ciphers for an hour every morn- 
ing, in a big book, and say every evening, I 
am worth all those noughts more than I was 
yesterday. Won't that do ? Well, what in 
the name of Plutus is it you want ? Not gold, 
not greenbacks, not ciphers after a capital I ? 
You will have to answer, after all, " No ; we 
want, somehow or other, money's worth." 
Well, what is that? Let your Goddess oi 


Getting-on discover it, and let her learn to 
Stay therein. 

II. But there is another question to be 
asked respecting this Goddess of Getting-on. 
The first was of the continuance of her power ; 
the second is of its extent. 

Pallas and the Madonna were supposed to 
be all the world's Pallas, and all the world's 
Madonna. They could teach all men, and 
they could comfort all men. But, look strictly 
into the nature of the power of your God- 
dess of Getting-on ; and you will find she is 
the Goddess — not of everybody's getting on — 
but only of somebody's getting on. This is 
a vital, or rather deathful, distinction. Ex- 
amine it in your own ideal of the state of 
national life which this Goddess is to evoke 
and maintain. I asked you what it was, when 
I was last here ; * — you have never told me. 
Now, shall I try to tell you ? 

Your ideal of human life then is, I think, 
that it should be passed in a pleasant undulat- 
ing world, with iron and coal everywhere un- 
derneath it. On each pleasant bank of this 
world is to be a beautiful mansion, with two 

• Two Paths, p. 98. 


wings ; and stables, and coach-houses ; a mod- 
erately sized park ; a large garden and hot- 
houses ; and pleasant carriage drives through 
the shrubberies. In this mansion are to live 
the favored votaries of the Goddess ; the 
English gentleman, with his gracious wife, 
and his beautiful family ; always able to have 
the boudoir and the jewels for the wife, and 
the beautiful ball-dresses for the daughters, 
and hunters for the sons, and a shooting in 
the Highlands for himself. At the bottom of 
the bank, is to be the mill ; not less than a 
quarter of a mile long, with a steam engine at 
each end, and two in the middle, and a chim- 
ney three hundred feet high. In this mill are 
to be in constant employment from eight hun- 
dred to a thousand workers, who never drink, 
never strike, always go to church on Sunday, 
and always express themselves in respectful 

Is not that, broadly, and in the main feat- 
ures, the kind of thing you propose to your- 
selves ? It is very pretty indeed seen from 
above ; not at all so pretty, seen from below. 
For, observe, while to one family this deity is 
indeed the Goddess of Getting-on, to a thou- 
sand families she is the Goddess of not Get* 


ting-on. " Nay," you say, " they have all their 
chance." Yes, so has every one in a lottery, 
but there must always be the same number of 
blanks. " Ah ! but in a lottery it is not skill 
and intelligence which take the lead, but 
blind chance." What then ! do you think the 
old practice, that " they. should take who have 
the power, and they should keep who can," is 
less iniquitous, when the power has become 
power of brains instead of fist? and that, 
though we may not take advantage of a child's 
or a woman's weakness, we may of a man's 
foolishness ? " Nay, but finally, work must 
be done, and some one must be at the top, 
some one at the bottom." Granted, my 
friends. Work must always be ; and captains 
of work must always be ; and if you in the 
least remember the tone of any of my writings, 
you must know that they are thought unfit for 
this age, because they are insisting on need of 
government, and speaking with scorn of liberty. 
But I beg you to observe that there is a wide 
difference between being captains or governors 
of work, and taking the profits of it. It does 
not follow, because you are general of an 
army, that )'ou are to take all the treasure, or 
land, it wins (if it fight for treasure or land) \ 


neither, because you are king of a nation, that 
you are to consume all the profits of the 
nation's work. Real kings, on the contrary, 
are known invariably by their doing quite the 
reverse of this, — by their taking the least pos- 
sible quantity of the nation's work for them- 
selves. There is no test of real knighthood 
so infallible as that. Does the crowned creat- 
ure live simply, bravely, unostentatiously? 
probably he is a King. Does he cover his 
body with jewels, and his table with delicates ? 
in all probability he is not a King. It is pos- 
sible he may be, as Solomon was ; but that is 
"when the nation shares his splendor with him. 
Solomon made gold, not only to be in his own 
palace as stones, but to be in Jerusalem as 
stones. But even so, for the most part, these 
splendid kinghoods expire in ruin, and only 
the true kinghoods live, which are of royal 
laborers ; who, both leading rough lives, estab- 
lish the true dynasties. Conclusively you will 
find that because you are king of a nation, it 
does not follow that you are to gather for 
yourself all the wealth of that nation ; neither, 
because you are king of a small part of the 
nation, and lord over the means of its main- 
tenance—over field, or mill, or mine, are you 


to take all the produce of that piece of the 
foundation of national existence for yourself. 

You will tell me I need not preach against 
these things, for I cannot mend them. No, 
good friends, I cannot ; but you can, and you 
will ; or something else can and will. Do you 
think these phenomena are to stay always in 
their present power or aspect? All history 
shows, on the contrary, that to be the exact 
thing they never can do. Change must come ; 
but it is ours to determine whether change of 
growth, or change of death. Shall the Parthe- 
non be in ruins on its rock, and Bolton priory 
in its meadow, but these mills of yours be the 
consummation of the buildings of the earth, 
and their wheels be as the wheels of eternity ? 
Think you that " men may come, and men 
may go," but — mills — go on forever ? Not so; 
out of these, better or worse shall come ; and 
it is for you to choose which. 

I know that none of this wrong is done with 
deliberate purpose. I know, on the contrary, 
that you wish your workmen well ; that you do 
much for them, and that you desire to do more 
for them, if you saw your way to it safely. I 
know that many of you have done, and are 
every day doing, whatever you feel to be in 


your power ; and that even all this wrong and 
misery are brought about by a warped sense of 
duty, each of you striving to do his best, with- 
out noticing that this best is essentially and 
centrally the best for himself, not for others. 
And all this has come of the spreading of that 
thrice accursed, thrice impious doctrine of the 
modern economist, that " To do the best for 
yourself, is finally to do the best for others." 
Friends, our great Master said not so ; and 
most absolutely we shall find this world is not 
made so. Indeed, to do the best for others, 
is finally to do the best for ourselves ; but it 
will not do to have our eyes fixed on that issue. 
The Pagans had got beyond that. Hear what 
a Pagan says of this matter ; hear what were, 
perhaps, the last written words of Plato, — if 
not the last actually written (for this we can- 
not know), yet assuredly in fact and power his 
parting words — in which, endeavoring to give 
full crowning and harmonious close to all his 
thoughts, and to speak the sum of them by 
the imagined sentence of the Great Spirit, his 
strength and his heart fail him, and the words 
cease, broken off forever. It is the close of 
the dialogue called "Critias," in which he 
describes, partly from real tradition, partly in 


ideal dream, the early state of Athens ; and 
the genesis, and order, and religion, of the 
fabled isle of Atlantis ; in which genesis he 
conceives the same first perfection and final 
degeneracy of man, which in our own Scrip- 
tural tradition is expressed by saying that the 
Sons of God intermarried with the daughters 
of men, for he supposes the earliest race to 
have been indeed the children of God , and to 
have corrupted themselves, until " their spot 
was not the spot of his children." And this, 
he says, was the end ; that indeed " through 
many generations, so long as the God's nature 
in them yet was full, they were submissive to 
the sacred laws, and carried themselves lov- 
ingly to all that had kindred with them in 
divineness : for their uttermost spirit was faith- 
ful and true, and in every wise great ; so that, 
in all meekness of wisdom, they dealt with 
each other, and took all the chances of life ; 
and despising all things except virtue, they 
cared little what happened day by day, and 
bore lightly the burden of gold and of posses- 
sions ; for they saw that, if only their common 
lov» and virtue increased, all these things 
would be increased together with them ; but 
to set their esteem and ardent pursuit upon 


material possession would be to lose that first, 
and their virtue and affection together with it. 
And by such reasoning, and what of the divine 
nature remained in them, they gained all this 
greatness of which we have already told ; but 
when the God's part of them faded and became 
extinct, being mixed again and again, and 
effaced by the prevalent mortality; and the 
human nature at last exceeded, they then be- 
came unable to endure the courses of fortune ; 
and fell into shapelessness of life, and base- 
ness in the sight of him who could see, having 
lost everything that was fairest of their honor; 
while to the blind hearts which could not dis- 
cern the true life, tending to happiness, it 
seemed that they were then chiefly noble and 
happy, being filled with all iniquity of inordi- 
nate possession and power. Whereupon, the 
God of Gods, whose Kingdom is in laws, be- 
holding a once just nation thus cast into mis- 
ery, and desiring to lay such punishment upon 
them as might make them repent into restrain- 
ing, gathered together all the gods into his 
dwelling-place, which from heaven's centre 
overlooks whatever has part in creation ; and 

having assembled them, he said " 

The rest is silence. So ended are the last 


words of the chief wisdom of the heathen, 
spoken of this idol of riches ; this idol of 
yours ; this golden image high by measureless 
cubits, set up where your green fields of Eng- 
land are furnace-burnt into the likeness of the 
plain of Dura : this idol, forbidden to us, first 
of all idols, by your own Master and faith ; 
forbidden to us also by every human lip that 
has ever, in any age or people, been accounted 
of as able to speak according to the purposes 
of God. Continue to make that forbidden 
deity your principal one, and soon no more 
art, no more science, no more pleasure will be 
possible. Catastrophe will come ; or worse 
than catastrophe, slow mouldering and wither- 
ing into Hades. But if you can fix some con- 
ception of a true human state of life to be 
striven for — life for all men as for yourselves 
— if you can determine some honest and sim- 
ple order of existence ; following those trodden 
ways of wisdom, which are pleasantness, and 
seeking her quiet and withdrawn paths, which 
are peace ; — then, and so sanctifying wealth 
into " commonwealth," all your art, your lit- 
erature, your daily labors, your domestic affec- 
tion, and citizen's duty, will join and increase 
into one magnificent harmony. You will know 


then how to build, well enough ; you will build 
with stone well, but with flesh better ; temples 
not made with hands, but riveted of hearts ; 
and that kind of marble, crimson-veined, is in- 
deed cieuud. 





(Delivered at the Royal Military Academy, Woohoieh) 

Young soldiers, I do not doubt but that 
many of you came unwillingly tc-night, and 
many in merely contemptuous curiosity, to 
hear what a writer on painting could possibly 
say, or would venture to say, respecting your 
great art of war. You may well think within 
yourselves, that a painter might, perhaps with- 
out immodesty, lecture younger painters upon 
painting, but not young lawyers upon law, nor 
young physicians upon medicine — least of all, 
it may seem to you, young warriors upon war. 
And, indeed, when I was asked to address 
you, I declined at first, and declined long ; for 
I felt that you would not be interested in my 
special business, and would certainly think 
there was small need for me to come to teach 
you yours. Nay, I knew that there ought to 
be no such need, for the great veteran soldiers 


of England are now men everyway so thoughts 
ful, so noble, and so good, that no other teach- 
ing than their knightly example, and their few 
words of grave and tried counsel should be 
either necessary for you, or even, without as- 
surance of due modesty in the offerer, endured 
by you. 

But being asked, not once nor twice, I have 
not ventured persistently to refuse ; and I will 
try, in very few words, to lay before you some 
reason why you should accept my excuse and 
hear me patiently. You may imagine that 
your work is wholly foreign to, and separate 
from mine. So far from that, all the pure and 
noble arts of peace are founded on war ; no 
great art ever yet rose on earth, but among a 
nation of soldiers. There is no art among a 
shepherd people, if it remains at peace. There 
is no art among an agricultural people, if it re- 
mains at peace. Commerce is barely consist- 
ent with fine art; but cannot produce it. 
Manufacture not only is unable to produce it. 
but invariably destroys whatever seeds of it 
exist. There is no great art possible to a 
nation but that which is based on battle. 

Now, though I hope you love fighting for 
its own sake, you must, I imagine, be surprised 

WAR. 127 

at my assertion that there is any such good 
fruit of fighting. You supposed, probably, 
that your office was to defend the works of 
peace, but certainly not to found them : nay, 
the common course of war, you may have 
thought, was only to destroy them. And truly, 
I who tell you this of the use of war, should 
have been the last of men to tell you so, had I 
trusted my own experience only. Hear why : 
I have given a considerable part of my life to 
the investigation of Venetian painting ; and 
the result of that inquiry was my fixing upon 
one man as the greatest of all Venetians, and 
therefore, as I believed, of all painters whatso- 
ever. I formed this faith (whether right or 
wrong matters at present nothing), in the su- 
premacy of the painter Tintoret, under a roof 
covered with his pictures ; and of those pictures, 
three of the noblest were then in the form of 
ragged canvas, mixed up with the laths of the 
roof, rent through by three Austrian shells. 
Now it is not every lecturer who could tell you 
that he had seen three of his favorite pictures 
torn to rags by bombshells. And after such a 
sight, it is not every lecturer who would tell you 
that, nevertheless, war was the foundation o£ 
all great art. 


Yet the conclusion is inevitable, from any 
careful comparison of the states of great his- 
toric races at different periods. Merely to 
show you what I mean, I will sketch for you, 
very briefly, the broad steps of the advance of 
the best art of the world. The first dawn of it 
is in Egypt ; and the power of it is founded on 
the perpetual contemplation of death, and of 
future judgment, by the mind of a nation of 
which the ruling caste were priests, and the 
second, soldiers. The greatest works produced 
by them are sculptures of their kings going out 
to battle, or receiving the homage of conquered 
armies. And you must remember also, as one 
of the great keys to the splendor of the Egyp- 
tian nation, that the priests were not occupied 
in theology only. Their theology was the basis 
of practical government and law ; so that they 
were not so much priests as religious judges : 
the office of Samuel, among the Jews, being as 
nearly as possible correspondent to theirs. 

All the rudiments of art then, and much more 
than the rudiments of all science, are laid first 
by this great warrior-nation, which held in 
contempt all mechanical trades, and in absolute 
hatred the peaceful life of shepherds. From 
Egypt art passes directly into Greece, where 



all poetry, and all painting, are nothing else 
than the description, praise, or dramatic rep- 
resentation of war or of the exercises which 
prepare for it, in their connection with offices 
of religion. All Greek institutions had first 
respect to war ; and their conception of it, as 
one necessary office of all human and divine 
life, is expressed simply by the images of their 
guiding gods. Apollo is the god of all wisdom 
of the intellect ; he bears the arrow and the bow, 
before he bears the lyre. Again, Athena is the 
goddess of all wisdom in conduct. It is by 
the helmet and the shield, oftener than by the 
shuttle, that she is distinguished from other 

There were, however, two great differences 
in principle between the Greek and the Egyp- 
tian theories of policy. In Greece there was 
no soldier caste ; every citizen was necessarily 
a soldier. And, again, while the Greeks rightly 
despised mechanical arts as much as the Egyp- 
tians, they did not make the fatal mistake of 
despising agricultural and pastoral life; but 
perfectly honored both. These two conditions 
of truer thought raise them quite into the high- 
est rank of wise manhood that has yet been 
reached ; for all our great arts, and nearly all 


our great thoughts, have been borrowed or 
derived from them. Take away from us what 
they have given ; and I hardly can imagine how 
low the modern European would stand. 

Now, you are to remember, in passing to the 
next phase cf history, that though you must 
have war to produce art — you must also hav# 
much more than war ; namely, an art-instinct 
or genius in the people ; and that, though all 
the talent for painting in the world won't make 
painters of you, unless you have a gift for 
fighting, and none for painting. Now, in the 
next great dynasty of soldiers, the art-instinct 
is wholly wanting. I have not yet investigated 
the Roman character enough to tell you the 
causes of this ; but I believe, paradoxical as it 
may seem to you, that, however truly the Roman 
might say of himself that he was born of Mars, 
and suckled by the wolf, he was nevertheless, 
at heart, more of a farmer than a soldier. The 
exercises of war were with him practical, not 
poetical ; his poetry was in domestic life only, 
and the object of battle, " pacis imponere 
morem." And the arts are extinguished in his 
hands, and do not rise again, until, with Gothic 
chivalry, there comes back into the mind of 
Europe a passionate delight in war itself, for 

WAR. 131 

the sake of war. And then, with the romantic 
knighthood which can imagine no other noble 
employment, — under the fighting kings of 
France, England, and Spain ; and under the 
fighting dukeships and citizenships of Italy, 
art is born again, and rises to her height in 
the great valleys of Lombardy and Tuscany, 
through which there flows not a single stream, 
from all their Alps cr Apennines, that did not 
once run dark red from battle : a:.d it reaches 
its culminating glory in the city which gave to 
history the most intense type of soldiership yet 
seen among men ; — the city whose armies were 
led in their assault by their king, led through 
it to victory by their king, and so led, though 
that king of theirs was blind, and in the extrem- 
ity of his age. 

And from this time forward, as peace is 
established or extended in Europe, the arts 
decline. They reach an unparalleled pitch of 
costliness, but lose their life, enlist themselves 
at last on the side of luxury and various cor- 
ruption, and, among wholly tranquil nations, 
wither utterly away ; remaining only in partial 
practice among races who, like the French 
and us, have still the minds, though we cannot 
all live the lives, of soldiers. 


" It may be so," I can suppose that a 
philanthropist might exclaim. " Perish then 
the arts, if they can flourish only at such a cost. 
What worth is there in toys of canvas and 
stone, if compared to the joy and peace of 
artless domestic life ? " And the answer is — 
truly, in themselves, none. But as expressions 
of the highest state of the human spirit, their 
worth is infinite. As results they may be 
worthless, but, as signs, they are above price. 
For it is an assured truth that, whenever the 
faculties of men are at their fulness, they must 
express themselves by art ; and to say that a 
state is without such expression, is to say that 
it is sunk from its proper level of manly nature. 
So that, when I tell you that war is the founda- 
tion of all the arts, I mean also that it is the 
foundation of all the high virtues and faculties 
of men. 

It was very strange to me to discover this ; 
and very dreadful — but I saw it to be quite an 
undeniable fact. The common notion that 
peace and the virtues of civil life flourished to- 
gether, I found to be wholly untenable. Peace 
and the vices of civil life only flourish together. 
We talk of peace and learning, and of peace 
and plenty, and of peace and civilization ; but 

WAR. 133 

I found that those were not the words whicfc 
the Muse of History coupled together ; that on 
her lips, the words were — peace and sensuality, 
peace and selfishness, peace and corruption, 
peace and death. I found, in brief, that all 
great nations learned their truth of word, and, 
strength of thought, in war ; that they were 
nourished in war, and wasted by peace ; taught 
by war, and deceived by peace ; trained by war 
and betrayed by peace ; — in a word, that they 
were born in war and expired in peace. 

Yet now note carefully, in the second place, 
it is not all war of which this can be said — nor 
all dragon's teeth, which, sown, will start up 
into men. It is not the ravage of a barbarian 
wolf-flock, as under Genseric or Suwarrow; 
nor the habitual restlessness and rapine of 
mountaineers, as on the old borders of Scot- 
land ; nor the occasional struggle of a strong 
peaceful nation for its life, as in the wars of 
the Swiss with Austria; nor the contest of 
merely ambitious nations for extent of power, 
as in the wars of France under Napoleon, or 
the just terminated war in America. None of 
these forms of war build anything but tombs~ 
But the creative or foundational war is that in 
which the natural restlessness and love of con* 


test among men are disciplined, by consent, 
into modes of beautiful — though it may be 
fatal — play : in which the natural ambition and 
love of power of men are disciplined into the 
aggressive conquest of surrounding evil : and 
in which the natural instincts of self-defence 
are sanctified by the nobleness of the institu- 
tions, and purity of the households, which they 
are appointed to defend. To such war as 
this all men are born ; in such war as this any 
man may happily die; and forth from such 
war as this have arisen throughout the extent 
of past ages, all the highest sanctities and 
virtues of humanity. 

I shall therefore divide the war of which I 
would speak to you into three heads. War for 
exercise or play ; war for dominion ; and war 
for defence. 

I. And first, of war for exercise or play. I 
speak of it primarily in this light, because, 
through all past history, manly war has been 
more an exercise than anything else, among 
the classes who cause, and proclaim it. It is 
not a game to the conscript, or the pressed 
sailor ; but neither of these are the causers of 
it. To the governor who determines that war 
shall be, and to the youths who voluntarily 

WAR. 13$ 

adopt it as their profession, it has always been 
a grand pastime ; and chiefly pursued because 
they had nothing else to do. And this is true 
without any exception. No king whose mind 
was fully occupied with the development of 
the inner resources of his kingdom, or with 
any other sufficing subject of thought, ever 
entered into war but on compulsion. No youth 
who was earnestly busy with any peaceful sub- 
ject of study, or set on any serviceable course 
of action, ever voluntarily became a soldier. 
Occupy him early, and wisely, in agriculture 
or business, in science or in literature, and he 
will never think cf war otherwise than as a 
calamity. But leave him idle ; and, the more 
brave and active and capable he is by nature, 
the more he will thirst for some appointed field 
for action ; and find, in the passion and peril 
of battle, the only satisfying fulfilment of his 
unoccupied being. And from the earliest in- 
cipient civilization until now, the population 
of the earth divides itself, when you look at it 
widely, into two races ; one of workers, and 
the other of players — one tilling the ground, 
manufacturing, building, and otherwise pro- 
viding for the necessities of life ; — the other 
part proudly idle, and continually therefore 


needing recreation, in which they use the pro 
ductive and laborious orders partly as their 
cattle, and partly as their puppets or pieces in 
the game of death. 

Now, remember, whatever virtue or good- 
liness there may be in this game of war, rightly 
played, there is none when you thus play it 
with a multitude of small human pawns. 

If you, the gentlemen of this or any other 
kingdom, choose to make your pastime of con- 
test, do so, and welcome ; but set not up these 
unhappy peasant-pieces upon the green fielded 
board. If the wager is to be of death, lay it 
on your own heads, not theirs. A goodly 
struggle in the Olympic dust, though it be the 
dust of the grave, the gods will look upon, and 
be with you in ; but they will not be with you, 
if you sit on the sides of the amphitheatre, 
whose steps are the mountains of earth, whose 
arena its valleys, to urge your peasant millions 
into gladiatorial war. You also, you tender 
and delicate women, for whom, and by whose 
command, all true battle has been, and must 
ever be ; you would perhaps shrink now, though, 
you need not, from the thought of sitting as 
queens above set lists where the jousting game 
might be mortal. How much more, then, 

WAR. 137 

ought you to shrink from the thought of sitting 
above a theatre pit in which even a few con- 
demned slaves were slaying each other only 
for your delight. And do you not shrink from 
the fact of sitting above a theatre pit, where, 
— not condemned slaves, — but the best and 
bravest of the poor sons of your people, slay 
each other, — not man to man, — as the coupled 
gladiators ; but race to race, in duel of gener- 
ations ? You would tell me, perhaps, that you 
do not sit to see this ; and it is indeed true, 
that the women of Europe — those who have no 
heart-interest of their own at peril in the con- 
test — draw the curtains of their boxes, and 
muffle the openings ; so that from the pit of 
the circus of slaughter there may reach them 
only at intervals a half-heard cry and a mur- 
mur -as of the wind's sighing, when myriads of 
souis expire. They shut out the death-cries ; 
and are happy, and talk wittily among them- 
Cslves. That is the utter literal fact of what 
€ut ladies do in their pleasant lives. 

Nay, you might answer, speaking for them — 
" We do not let these wars come to pass for 
our play, nor by our carelessness ; we cannot 
help them. How can any final quarrel of 
nations be settled otherwise than by war ? " 


I cannot now delay, to tell you how political 
quarrels might be otherwise settled. But grant 
that they cannot. Grant that no law of reason 
can be understood by nations ; no law of 
justice submitted to by them : and that, while 
questions of a few acres, and of petty cash, 
can be determined by truth and equity, the 
questions which are to issue in the perishing 
or saving of kingdoms can be determined 
only by the truth of the sword, and the equity 
of the rifle. Grant this, and even then, judge 
if it will always be necessary for you to put 
your quarrel into the hearts of your poor, and 
sign your treaties with peasants' blood. You 
would be ashamed to do this in your own 
private position and power. Why should you 
not be ashamed also to do it in public place and 
power ? If you quarrel with your neighbor, 
and the quarrel be indeterminable by law, and 
mortal, you and he do not send your footmen 
to Battersea fields to fight it out , nor do you 
set fire to his tenants' cottages, nor spoil their 
goods. You fight out your quarrel yourselves, 
and at your own danger, if at all. And you do 
not think it materially affects the arbitrament 
that one of you has a larger household than 
the other \ so that, if the servants or tenants 

WAR. 13$, 

were brought into the field with their masters, 
the issue of the contest could not be doubtful ? 
You either refuse the private duel, or you 
practise it under laws of honor, not of physical 
force; that so it may be, in a manner, justly 
concluded. Now the just or unjust conclusion 
of the private feud is of little moment, while 
the just or unjust conclusion of the public feud 
is of eternal moment : and yet, in this public 
quarrel, you take your servants' sons from their 
arms to fight for it, and your servants' food 
from their lips to support it ; and the black 
seals on the parchment of your treaties of peace 
are the deserted hearth and the fruitless field. 
There is a ghastly ludicrousness in this, as 
there is mostly in these wide and universal 
crimes. Hear the statement of the very fact 
of it in the most literal words of the greatest 
of our English thinkers : — 

" What, speaking in quite unofficial language, is the 
net-purport and upshot of war ? To my own knowl- 
edge, for example, there dwell and toil, in the British 
village of Dumdrudge, usually some five hundred souls. 
From these, by certain ' natural enemies ' of the 
French, there are successively selected, during the 
French war, say thirty able-bodied men. Dumdrudge, 
at her own expense, has suckled and nursed them; she 
fcas, iot without difficulty and sorrow, fed them up t* 


manhood, and ever trained them to crafts, so that one 
can weave, another build, another hammer, and the 
weakest can stand under thirty stone avoirdupois. 
Nevertheless, amid much weeping and swearing, they 
are selected ; all dressed in red ; and shipped away, at 
the public charges, some two thousand miles, or say 
only to the south of Spain ; and fed there till wanted. 

" And now to that same spot in the south of Spain 
are thirty similar French artisans, from a French Dum- 
drudge, in like manner wending ; till at length, after in- 
finite effort, the two parties come into actual juxtaposi- 
tion ; and Thirty stands fronting Thirty, each with a 
gun in his hand. 

" Straightway the word ' Fire ! ' is given, and they 
blow the souls out of one another, and in place of sixty 
brisk useful craftsmen, the world has sixty dead carcases, 
which it must bury, and anon shed tears for. Had 
these men any quarrel ? Busy as the devil is, not the 
smallest ! They lived far enough apart ; were the en- 
tirest strangers ; nay, in so wide a universe, there was 
even unconsciously, by commerce, some mutual help- 
fulness between them. How then ? Simpleton ! their 
governors had fallen out; and instead of shooting one 
another, had the cunning to make these poor block- 
heads shoot." (Sartor Resartus.) 

Positively, then, gentlemen, the game of bat- 
tle must not, and shall not, ultimately be 
played this way. But should it be played any 
way ? Should it, if not by your servants, be 
practised by yourselves ? I think, yes. Both 

WAR. X 4 » 

history and human instinct seem alike to say, 
yes. All healthy men like fighting, and like 
the sense of danger ; all brave women like to 
hear of their fighting, and of their facing dan- 
ger. This is a fixed instinct in the fine race 
of them ; and I cannot help fancying that fair 
fight is the best play for them ; and that a tour- 
nament was a better game than a steeple-chase. 
The time may perhaps come in France as well 
as here, for universal hurdle-races and cricket- 
ing : but I do not think universal " crickets " 
will bring out the best qualities of the nobles 
of either country. I use, in such question, the 
test which I have adopted, of the connection 
of war with other arts ; and I reflect how, as 
a sculptor, I should feel, if I were asked to de- 
sign a monument for a dead knight, in West- 
minster Abbey, with a carving of a bat at one 
end, and a ball at the other. It may be the 
remains in me only of savage Gothic preju- 
dice ; but I had rather carve it with a shield 
at one end, and a sword at the other. And 
this, observe, with no reference whatever to 
any story of duty done, or cause defended. 
Assume the knight merely to have ridden out 
occasionally to fight his neighbor for exercise ; 
assume him even a soldier of fortune, and to 


have gained his bread, and filled his purse, at 
the sword's point. Still, I feel as if it were, 
somehow, grander and worthier in him to have 
made his bread by sword play than any other 
play ; I had rather he had made it by thrust- 
ing than batting ; — much more, than by bet- 
ting. ?.Iuch rather that he should ride war 
horses, than back race horses ; and — I say it 
sternly and deliberately — much rather would 
I have hira slay his neighbor, than cheat him. 

But remember, so far as this may be true, 
the game of war is only that in which the 
full personal power of the human creature is 
brought out in management of its weapons. 
And this for three reasons : — 

First, the great justification of this game is 
that it truly, when well played, determines 
■who is the best man ; — who is the highest bred, 
the most self-denying, the most fearless, the 
coolest of nerve, the swiftest of eye and hand. 
You cannot test these qualities wholly, unless 
there is a clear possibility of the struggle's 
ending in death. It is only in the fronting 
of that condition that the full trial of the man, 
soul and body, comes out. You may go to 
your game of wickets, or of hurdles, or of cards, 
and any knavery that is in you may stay unr 

WAR. 143 

challenged all the while. But if the play may 
be ended at any moment by a lance-thrust, a 
man will probably make up his accounts a 
little before he enters it. Whatever is rotten, 
and evil in him will weaken his hand more in 
holding a sword hilt, than in balancing a. 
billiard cue ; and on the whole, the habit cf 
living lightly hearted, in daily presence cf 
death, always has had, and must have, a ten- 
dency both to the making and testing of honest 
men. But for the final testing, observe, you 
must make the issue cf battle strictly depend- 
ent on fineness cf frame, and firmness of 
hand. You must not make it the question, 
which of the combatants has the longest gun, 
or which has got behind the biggest tree, or 
which has the wind in his face, or which has 
gunpowder made by best chemists, cr iron, 
smelted with the best coal, or the angriest 
mob at his back. Decide your battle, whether 
of nations, or individuals, on those terms ; — 
and you have only multiplied confusion, and 
added slaughter to iniquity. But decide your 
battle by pure trial which has the strongest 
arm, and steadiest heart, — and you have gone 
far to decide a great many matters besides^ 
and to decide them lightly. 


And the other reasons for this mode of 
decision of cause, are the diminution both of 
the material destructiveness, or cost, and of 
the physical distress of war. For you must 
not think that in speaking to you in this (as 
you may imagine) fantastic praise of battle, I 
have overlooked the conditions weighing 
against me. I pray all of you, who have not 
read, to read with the most earnest attention, 
Mr. Helps' two essays on War and Government, 
in the first volume of the last series of " Friends 
in Counsel." Everything that can be urged' 
against war is there simply, exhaustively, and 
most graphically stated. And all, there urged, 
is true. But the two great counts of evil 
alleged against war by this most thoughtful 
writer, hold only against modern war. If you 
have to take away masses of men from all in- 
dustrial employment, — to feed them by the 
labor of others, — to move them and provide 
them with destructive machines, varied daily 
in national rivalship of inventive cost ; if you 
have to ravage the country which you attack, 
— to destroy for a score of future years, its 
roads, its woods, its cities, and its harbors ; — 
and if, finally, having brought masses of men, 
counted by hundreds of thousands, face to face, 

WAR. 145 

you tear those masses to pieces with jagged 
shot, and leave the fragments of living creat- 
ures, countlessly beyond all help of surgery, to 
starve and parch, through days of torture, 
down into clots of clay — what book of accounts 
shall record the cost of your work ; — What 
book of judgment sentence the guilt of it ? 

That, I say, is modern war, — scientific war, — 
chemical and mechanic war, worse even than 
the savage's poisoned arrow. And yet you 
will tell me, perhaps, that any other war than 
this is impossible now. It may be so ; the 
progress of science cannot, perhaps, be other- 
wise registered than by new facilities of de- 
struction ; and the brotherly love of our enlarg- 
ing Christianity be only proved by multiplica- 
tion of murder. Yet hear, for a moment, 
what war was, in Pagan and ignorant days ; — 
what war might yet be, if we could extinguish 
our science in darkness, and join the heathen's 
practice to the Christian's theory. I read you 
this from a book which probably most of you 
know well, and all ought to know — Miiller's 
"Dorians"; — but 1 have put the points I 
wish you to remember in closer connection 
than in his text. 

" The chief characteristic of the warriors of 


Sparta was great composure and subdued 
strength; the violence (\tW-a) of Aristode- 
mus and Isadas being considered as deserv- 
ing rather of blame than praise; and these 
qualities in general distinguished the Greeks 
from the northern Barbarians, whose boldness 
always consisted in noise and tumult. For 
the same reason the Spartans sacrificed to the 
.Muses before an action ; these goddesses 
being expected to produce regularity and 
order in battle ; as they sacrificed on the same 
occasion in Crete to the god of love, as the con- 
firmer of mutual esteem and shame. Every 
man put on a crown, when the band of flute- 
players gave the signal for attack; all the 
shields of the line glittered with their high 
polish, and mingled their splendor with the 
dark red of the purple mantles, which were 
meant both to adorn the combatant, and to 
conceal the blood of the wounded ; to fall 
well and decorously being an incentive the 
more to the most heroic valor. The conduct 
of the Spartans in battle denotes a high and 
noble disposition, which rejected all the ex- 
tremes of brutal rage. The pursuit of the 
enemy ceased when the victory was com- 
pleted; and after the signal for retreat had 

WAR. 147 

been given, all hostilities ceased. The spoil- 
ing of arms, at least during the battle, was 
also interdicted ; and the consecration cf the 
spoils of slain enemies to the gods, as, in 
general, all rejoicings for victor}', were con- 
sidered as ill-omened." 

Such was the war of the greatest soldiers 
who prayed to heathen gods. What Christian 
■war is, preached by Christian ministers, let 
any one tell you who saw the sacred crowning, 
and heard the sacred flute-playing, and was 
inspired and sanctified by the divinely- 
measured and musical language, of any North 
American regiment preparing for its charge. 
And what is the relative cost of life in Pagan 
and Christian wars, let this one fact tell you : 
— the Spartans won the decisive battle of 
Corinth with the loss of eight men ; the 
victors at indecisive Gettysburg confess to 
the I033 of 30,000. 

II. I pass now to our second order of war, 
the commonest among men, that undertaken 
in desire of dominion. And let me ask you 
to think for a few moments what the real 
meaning of this desire of dominion is — first in 
the minds of kings — then in that of nations. 

Now, mind you this first, — that I speak 


either about kings, or masses of men, with a 
fixed conviction that human nature is a noble 
and beautiful thing ; not a foul nor a base 
thing. All the sin of men I esteem as their 
disease, not their nature; as a folly which 
may be prevented, not a necessity which must 
be accepted. And my wonder, even when 
things are at their worst, is always at the 
height which this human nature can attain. 
Thinking it high, I find it always a higher 
thing than I thought it ; while those who think 
it low, find it, and will find it, always lower 
than they thought it : the fact being, that it is 
infinite, and capable of infinite height and in- 
finite fall ; but the nature of it — and here it 
the faith which I would have you hold witli 
me — the nature of it is in the nobleness, not 
in the catastrophe. 

Take the faith in its utmost terms. When 
the captain of the " London " shook hands 
with his mate saying " God speed you ! I will 
go down with my passengers," that I believe 
to be " human nature." He does not do it 
from any religious motive — from any hope of 
reward, or any fear of punishment ; he does it 
because he is a man. But when a mother, 
living among the fair fields of merry England, 

WAR. 149 

gives her two-year-old child to be suffocated 
under a mattress in her inner room, while the 
said mother waits and talks outside; that I 
believe to be not human nature. You have 
the two extremes there, shortly. And you, 
men, and mothers, who are here face to face 
with me to-night, I call upon you to say which 
of these is human, and which inhuman — which 
" natural," and which "unnatural? " Choose 
your creed at once, I beseech you : — choose it 
with unshaken choice — choose it forever. 
Will you take, for foundation of act and hope, 
the faith that this man was such as God made 
him, or that this woman was such as God 
made her? Which of them has failed from 
their nature — from their present,, possible, 
actual nature ; — not their nature of long ago, 
but their nature of now ? Which has betrayed 
it — falsified it ? Did the guardian who died in 
his trust die inhumanly, and as a fool ; and 
did the murderess of her child fulfil the law of 
her being ? Choose, I say ; infinitude of 
choices hang upon this. You have had false 
prophets among you — for centuries you have 
had them — solemnly warned against them 
though you were ; false prophets, who have 
told you that all men are nothing but fiends or 


wolves, half beast, half devil. Believe that^ 
and indeed you may sink to that. But refuse 
that, and have faith that God " made you up- 
right," though you have sought out many in- 
ventions ; so you will strive daily to become 
more what your Maker meant and means you 
to be, and daily gives you also the power to 
be — and you will cling more and more to the 
nobleness and virtue that is in you, saying, 
" My righteousness I hold fast, and will not 
let it go." 

I have put this to you as a choice, as if you 
might hold either of these creeds you liked 
best. But there is in reality no choice for 
you; the facts being quite easily ascertain- 
able. You have no business to think about 
this matter, or to choose in it. The broad 
fact is, that a human creature of the highest 
race, and most perfect as a human thing, is 
invariably both kind and true ; and that as 
you lower the race, you get cruelty and false- 
ness, as you get deformity : and this so steadily 
and assuredly, that the two great words which, 
ia their first use, meant only perfection of race, 
have come, by consequence of the invariable 
connection of virtue with the fine human 
nature, both to signify benevolence of disposir 

WAR. 151 

tion. The -word generous, and the word gen- 
tle, both, in their origin, meant only " of pure 
race," but because charity and tenderness are 
inseparable from this purity of blood, the 
words which once stood only for pride, now 
Stand as synonyms for virtue. 

Now, this being the true power of our in- 
herent humanity, and seeing that all the aim 
of education should be to develop this ; — and 
seeing also what magnificent self-sacrifice the 
higher classes of men are capable of, for any 
cause that they understand or feel, — it is 
wholly inconceivable to me how well-educated 
princes, who ought to be of all gentlemen the 
gentlest, and of all nobles the most generous, 
and whose title of royalty means only their 
function of doing every man "n^/" — how 
these, I say, throughout history, should so 
rarely pronounce themselves on the side of 
the poor and of justice, but continually maintain 
themselves and their own interests by oppres- 
sion of the poor, and by wresting of justice ; 
and how this should be accepted as so natural, 
that the word loyalty, which means faithful- 
ness to law, is used as if it were only the duty 
of a people to be loyal to their king, and not 
the duty of a king to be infinitely more loyal 



to his people. How comes it to pass that 4 
captain will die with his passengers, and lean 
over the gunwale to give the parting boat its 
course ; but that a king will not usually die 
with, much lessor, his passengers, — thinks it 
rather incumbent on his passengers, in any 
number, to die for him ? Think, I beseech 
you, of the wonder of this. The sea captain, 
not captain by divine right, but only by com- 
pany's appointment ; — not a man cf royal de- 
scent, but only a plebeian who can steer ;— 
not with the eyes cf the world upon him, but 
■with feeble chance, depending on one poor 
boat, of his name being ever heard above the 
wash of the fatal waves ; — not with the cause 
of a nation resting on his act, but helpless to 
save so much as a child from among the lost 
crowd with whom he resolves to be lost, — yet 
goes down quietly to his grave, rather than 
break his faith to these few emigrants. But 
your captain by divine right, — your captain 
with the hues of a hundred shields of kings 
upon his breast, — your captain whose every 
deed, brave or base, will be illuminated or 
branded forever before unescapable eyes of 
men, — your captain whose every thought and 
act are beneficent, or fatal, from sunrising to 

war. 153 

setting, blessing as the sunshine, or shadow- 
ing as the night, — this captain, as you find 
him in history, for the most part thinks only 
how he may tax his passengers, and sit at 
most ease in his state cabin ! 

For observe, if there had been indeed in 
the hearts of the rulers of great multitudes of 
men any such conception of work for the 
good of those under their command, as there 
is in the good and thoughtful masters of any 
small company cf men, not only wars for the 
sake of mere increase of power could never 
take place, but our idea of power itself would 
be entirely altered. Do you suppose that to 
think and act even for a million ©f men, to 
hear their complaint, watch their weaknesses, 
restrain their vices, make laws for them, lead 
them, day by day, to purer life, is not enough 
for one man's work ? If any of us were abso- 
lute lord only of a district cf a hundred miles 
square, and were resolved on doing our utmost 
for it ; making it feed as large a number of 
people as possible; making every clod pro- 
ductive, and every rock defensive, and every 
human being happy; should we not have 
enough on our hands think you ? But if the 
ruler has any other aim than this ; if, careless 


of the result of his interference, he desir* 
only the authority to interfere ; and, regard- 
less of what is ill-done or well-done, cares 
only that it shall be done at his bidding ; — if 
he would rather do two hundred miles' space 
of mischief, than one hundred miles' space of 
good, of course he will try to add to his ter- 
ritory ; and to add inimitably. But does he 
add to his power ? Do you call it power in a 
child, if he is allowed to play with the wheels 
and bands of some vast engine, pleased with 
their murmur and whirl, till his unwise touch, 
wandering where it ou^ht not, scatters beam 
and wheel into ruin ? Yet what machine is so 
vast, so incognizable, as the working of the 
mind of a nation ; what child's touch so wan- 
ton, as the word of a selfish king? And yet, 
how long have we allowed the historian to speak 
of the extent of the calamity a man causes, as a 
just ground for his pride ; and to extol him as 
the greatest prince, who is only the centre of 
the widest error. Follow out this thought by 
yourselves ; and you will find that all power, 
properly so called, is wise and benevolent. 
There may be capacity in a drifting fire-ship 
to destroy a fleet ; there may be venom enough 
in a dead body to infect a nation ; — but whicb 

WAR. 155 

of you, the most ambitious, would desire a 
drifting kinghood, robed in consuming fire, or 
a poison-dipped sceptre whose touch was mor- 
tal ? There is no true potency, remember, 
but that of help ; nor true ambition, but ambi- 
tion to save. 

And then, observe farther, this true power, 
the power cf saving, depends neither on mul- 
titude of men, nor on extent cf territory. We 
are continually assuming that nations become 
strong according to their numbers. They in- 
deed become so, if those numbers can be 
made of one mind ; but how are you sure you 
can stay them in one mind, and keep them 
from having north and south minds ? Grant 
them unanimous, how know you they will be 
unanimous in right ? If they are unanimous 
in wrong, the more they are, essentially the 
weaker they are. Or, suppose that they can 
neither be of one mind, nor of two minds, but 
can only be of no mind ? Suppose they are a 
mere helpless mob ; tottering into precipitant 
catastrophe, like a wagon load of stones when 
the wheel comes off. Dangerous enough for 
their neighbors, certainly, but not " powerful." 

Neither does strength depend on extent of 
territory, any more than upon number of 


population. Take up your maps when you go 
home this evening, — put the cluster of British 
Isles beside the mass of South America ; and 
then consider whether any race of men need 
care how much ground they stand upon. The 
strength is in the men, and in their unity and 
virtue, not in their standing room : a little 
group of wise hearts is better than a wilderness 
full of fools ; and only that nation gains true 
territory, which gains itself. 

And now for the brief practical outcome of 
all this. Remember, no government is ulti- 
mately strong, but in proportion to its kindness 
and justice ; and that a nation does not 
strengthen, by merely multiplying and diffusing 
itself. We have not strengthened as yet, by 
multiplying America. Nay, even when it 
has not to encounter the separating conditions 
of emigration, a nation need not boast itself of 
multiplying on its own ground, if it multiplies 
only as flies or locusts do, with the god of flies 
for its god. It multiplies its strength only by 
increasing as one great family, in perfect fel- 
lowship and brotherhood. And lastly, it does 
not strengthen itself by seizing dominion over 
.faces whom U cannot benefit A. stria is not 

WAR. 15 jr 

Strengthened, but weakened, by her grasp of 
Lombardy ; and whatever apparent increase 
of majesty and of wealth may have accrued to 
us from the possession of India, whether these 
prove to us ultimately power or weakness, de- 
pends wholly on the degree in which our in- 
fluence on the native race shall be benevolent 
and exalting. But, as it is at their own peril 
that any race extends their dominion in mere 
desire of power, so it is at their own still 
greater peril that they refuse to undertake 
aggressive war, according to their force, when- 
ever they are assured that their authority would 
be helpful and protective. Nor need you listen 
to any sophistical objection of the impossibility 
of knowing when a people's help is needed, or 
when not. Make your national conscience 
clean, and your national eyes will soon be 
clear. No man who is truly ready to take 
part in a noble quarrel will ever stand long in 
doubt by whom, or in what cause, his aid is 
needed. I hold it my duty to make no polit- 
ical statement of any special bearing in this 
presence ; but I tell you broadly and boldly, 
that, within these last ten years, we English 
have, as a knightly nation, lost our spurs : we 
have fought where we should not have fought, 


for gain ; and we have been passive where we 
should not have been passive, for fear. I tell 
you that the principle of non-intervention, as 
now preached among us, is as selfish and 
cruel as the worst frenzy cf conquest, and dif- 
fers from it only by being not only malignant, 
but dastardly. 

I know, however, that my opinions on this 
subject differ too widely from those ordinarily 
held, to be any farther intruded upon you ; and 
therefore I pass lastly to examine the conditions 
of the third kind of noble war ; — war waged 
simply for the defence of the country in which 
we were born, and for the maintenance and 
execution cf her laws, by whomsoever threat- 
ened or defied. It is to this duty that I sup- 
pose most men entering the army consider 
themselves in reality to be bound, and I want 
you now to reflect what the laws of mere de- 
fence are ; and what the soldier's duty, as now 
understood, or supposed to be understood. 
You have solemnly devoted yourselves to be 
English soldiers, for the guardianship of Eng- 
land. I want you to feel what this vow of 
yours indeed means, or is gradually coming to 
mean. You take it upon you, first, while you 
are sentimental schoolboys ; you go into your 

WAR. 159 

military convent, or barracks, just as a girl 
goes into her convent while she is a sentimen- 
tal schoolgirl ; neither of you then know what 
you are about, though both the good soldiers 
and good nuns make the best of it afterwards. 
You don't understand perhaps why I call you 
"sentimental" schoolboys, when you go into 
the army ? Because, on the whole, it is love 
of adventure, of excitement, of fine dress and 
of the pride of fame, all which are sentimental 
motives, which chiefly make a boy like going 
into the Guards better than into a counting- 
.house. You fancy, perhaps, that there is a 
severe sense of duty mixed with these pcacocky 
motives ? And in the best of you, there is ; 
but do not think that it is principal. If you 
cared to do your duty to your country in a 
prosaic and unsentimental way, depend upon 
it, there is now truer duty to be done in rais- 
ing harvests, than in burning them ; more in 
building houses, than in selling them — more 
in winning money by your own work, where- 
with to help men, than in taxing other people's 
work, for money wherewith to slay men ; more 
duty, finally, in honest and unselfish living than 
in honest and unselfish dying, though that seems 
to your boys' eyes the bravest. So far then, 


as for your own honor and the honor of your 
families, you choose brave death in a red coat 
before brave life in a black one, you are senti- 
mental ; and now see what this passionate 
vow of yours comes to. For a little while you 
ride, and you hunt tigers or savages, you shoot, 
and are shot; you are happy, and proud, always, 
and honored and wept if you die ; and you are 
satisfied with your life, and with the end of it ; 
believing, on the whole, that good rather than 
harm of it comes to others, and much pleasure 
to you. But as the sense of duty enters into 
your forming minds, the vow takes another 
aspect. You find that you have put yourselves 
into the hand of your country as a weapon. 
You have vowed to strike, when she bids you, 
and to stay scabbarded when she bids you ; 
all that you need answer for is, that you fail 
not in her grasp. And there is goodness in 
this, and greatness, if you can trust the hand 
and heart of the Britomart who has braced you 
to her side, and are assured that when she 
leaves you sheathed in darkness, there is no 
need for your flash to the sun. But remember, 
good and noble as this state may be, it is a 
state of slavery. There are different kinds of 
slaves and different masters. Some slaves are 

WAR. l6x 

scourged to their work by whips, others are 
scourged to it by restlessness or ambition. It 
does not matter what the whip is ; it is none the 
less a whip, because you have cut thongs for 
it out of your own souls : the fact, so far, of 
slavey, is in being driven to your work with- 
out thought, at another's bidding. Again, 
some slaves are bought with money, and others 
with praise. It matters not what the purchase- 
money is. The distinguishing sign of slavery 
is to have a price, and be bought for it. Again, 
it matters not what kind of work you are set 
on ; some slaves are set to forced diggings, 
Others to forced marches ; some dig furrows, 
others field-work, and others graves. Some 
press the juice of reeds, and some the juice of 
vines, and some the blood of men. The fact 
of the captivity is the same whatever work we 
are set upon, though the fruits of the toil may 
be different. But, remember, in thus vowing 
ourselves to be the slaves cf any master, it 
ought to be some subject of forethought with 
us, what work he is likely to put us upon, You 
may think that the whole duty of a soldier is to 
be passive, that it is the country you have left 
behind who is to command, and you have only to 
obey. But are you sure that you have left all 


your country behind, or that the part of it you 
have so left is indeed the best part of it? 
Suppose — and, remember, it is quite conceiv- 
able — that you yourselves are indeed the best 
part of England ; that you, who have become 
the slaves, ought to have been the masters ; 
and that those who are the masters, ought to 
have been the slaves ! If it is a noble and 
whole-hearted England, whose bidding you are 
bound to do, it is well ; but if you are your- 
selves the best of her heart, and the England 
you have left be but a half-hearted England, 
how say you of your obedience ? You were too 
proud to become shopkeepers : are you satis- 
fied then to become servants of shopkeepers? 
You were too proud to become merchants or 
farmers yourselves : will you have merchants 
or farmers then for your field marshals ? You 
had no gifts of special grace for Exeter Hall : 
will you have some gifted person thereat for 
your commander-in-chief, to judge of your 
work, and reward ? You imagine yourselves 
to be the army of England : how if you should 
find yourselves, at last, only the police of her 
manufacturing towns, and the beadles of her 
little Bethels ? 

It is not so yet, nor will be so, I trust, for 

WAR. 163 

ever ; but what I want you to see, 4 and to be 
assured of, is, that the ideal of soldiership is 
not mere passive obedience and bravery ; that, 
so far from this, no country is in a healthy 
state which has separated, even in a small 
degree, her civil from her military power. All 
states of the world, however great, fall at once 
when they use mercenary armies; and although 
it is a less instant form of error (because in- 
volving no national taint of cowardice), it is 
yet an error no less ultimately fatal — it is the 
error especially of modern times, of which we 
cannot yet know all the calamitous conse- 
quences — to take away the best blood and 
strength of the nation, all the soul-substance 
of it that is brave, and careless of reward, and 
scornful of pain, and faithful in trust ; and to 
cast that into steel, and make a mere sword of 
it; taking away its voice and will; but to keep 
the worst part of the nation — whatever is cow- 
ardly, avaricious, sensual, and faithless — and 
to give to this the voice, to this the authority, 
to this the chief privilege, where there is least 
capacity, of thought. The fulfilment of your 
vow for the defence of England will by no 
means consist in carrying out such a system. 
You are not true soldiers, if you only mean to 


stand at a shop door, to protect shop-boys 
■who are cheating inside. A soldier's vow to 
his country is that he will die for the guardian- 
ship of her domestic virtue, of her righteous 
laws, and of her anyway challenged or endan- 
gered honor. A state without virtue, without 
laws, and without honor, he is bound not to 
defend ; nay, bound to redress by his own 
right hand that which he sees to be base in 
her. So sternly is the law of Nature and life, 
that a nation once utterly corrupt can only be 
redeemed by a military despotism — never by 
talking, nor by its free effort. And the health 
of any state consists simply in this : that in it, 
those who are wisest shall also be strongest ; 
its rulers should be also its soldiers ; or, rather, 
by force of intellect more than of sword, its 
soldiers its rulers. Whatever the hold which 
the aristocracy of England has on the heart of 
England, in that they are still always in front 
of her battles, this hold will not be enough, 
unless they are also in front of her thoughts. 
And truly her thoughts need good captain's 
reading now, if ever ! Do you know what, by 
this beautiful division of labor (her brave men 
fighting, and her cowards thinking), she has 
come at last to think ? Here is a bit of paper 

WAR. 165 

in my hand,* a good one too, and an honest 
one ; quite representative of the best common 
public thought of England at this moment ; 
and it is holding forth in one of its leaders 
upon our "social welfare" — upon our "vivid 
life " — upon the " political supremacy of Great 
Britain." And what do you think all these are 
owing to ? To what our English' sires have 
done for us, and taught us, age after age ? No: 
not to that. To our honesty of heart, or cool- 
ness of head, or steadiness of will ? No: not 

* I do not care to refer to the journal quoted, because 
the article was unworthy of its general tone, though in 
order to enable the audience to verify the quoted sen- 
tence, I left the number containing it on the table, when 
I delivered this lecture. But a saying of Baron Liebig's, 
quoted at the head of a leader on the same subject in 
the Daily Telegraph of January II, 1866, summarily 
digests and presents the maximum folly of modern 
thought in this respect. " Civilization," says the Baron, 
" is the economy of power, and English power is coal." 
Not altogether so, my chemical friend. Civilization is 
the making of civil persons, which is a kind of distilla- 
tion of which alembics are incapable, and does not at 
all imply the turning of a small company of gentlemen 
into a large company of ironmongers. And English 
power (what little of it may be left) is by no means 
coal, but, indeed, of that which, " when the whole world 
turns to coal, then chiefly lives." 


to these. To our thinkers, or our statesmen, 
or our poets, or our captains, or our martyrs, 
or the patient labor of our poor ? No: not to 
these ; or at least not to these in any chief 
measure. Nay, says the journal, " more than 
any agency, it is the cheapness and abundance 
of our coal which have made us what we are." 
If it be so, then "ashes to ashes" be our 
epitaph ! and the sooner the better. I tell 
you, gentlemen of England, if ever you would 
have your country breathe the pure breath of 
heaven again, and receive again a soul into 
her body, instead of rotting into a carcase, 
blown up in the belly with carbonic acid (and 
great that way), you must think, and feel, for 
your England, as well as fight for her: you 
must teach her that all the true greatness she 
ever had, or ever can have, she won while her 
fields were green and her faces ruddy — that 
greatness is still possible for Englishmen, even 
though the ground be not hollow under their 
feet, nor the sky black over their heads ; — and 
that, when the day comes for their country to 
lay her honors in the dust, her crest will not 
rise from it more loftily because it is dust of 
coal. Gentlemen, I tell you solemnly, that 
the day is coming when the soldiers of England 

WAR. 167 

must be her tutors ; and the captains of her 
army, captains also of her mind. 

And now, remember, you soldier youths, 
who are thus in all ways the hope of your 
country ; or must be, if she have any hope: 
remember that your fitness for all future trust 
depends upon what you are now. No good 
soldier in his old age was ever careless or indo- 
lent in his youth. Many a giddy and thought- 
less boy has become a good bishop, or a good 
lawyer, or a good merchant ; but no such an 
one ever became a good general. I challenge 
you, in all history, to find a record of a good 
soldier who was not grave and earnest in his 
youth. And, in general, I have no patience 
with people who talk about " the thoughtless- 
ness of youth " indulgently. I had infinitely 
rather hear of thoughtless old age, and the 
indulgence due to that. When a man has done 
his work, and nothing can any way be materi- 
ally altered in his fate, let him forget his toil, 
and jest with his fate, if he will ; but what ex- 
cuse can you find for wilfulness of thought, at 
the very time when every crisis of future 
fortune hangs on your decisions? A youth 
thoughtless! when all the happiness of his home 
forever depends on the chances, or the pas- 


sions, of an hour ! A youth thoughtless ! when 
the career of all his days depends on the op- 
portunity of a moment ! A youth thoughtless! 
•when his every act is a foundation-stone of 
future conduct, and every imagination a fount- 
ain of life or death ! Be thoughtless in any 
after years, rather than now — though, indeed, 
there is only one place where a man may be 
nobly thoughtless, — his death-bed. No think- 
ing should ever be left to be done there. 

Having, then, resolved that you will not 
waste recklessly, but earnestly use, these early 
days of yours, remember that all the duties of 
her children to England may be summed in 
two words — industry, and honor. I say first, 
industry, for it is in this that soldier youth 
are especially tempted to fail. Yet, surely, 
there is no reason, because your life may 
possibly or probably be shorter than other 
men's, that you should therefore waste more 
recklessly the portion of it that is granted you ; 
neither do the duties of your profession, which 
require you to keep your bodies strong, in any 
wise involve the keeping of your minds weak. 
So far from that, the experience, the hardship, 
and the activity of a soldier's life render his 
powers of thought more accurate than those of 

WAR. 1 60 

other men ; and while, for others, all knowl- 
edge is often little more than a means of 
amusement, there is no form of science 
which a soldier may not at some time or 
other find bearing on business of life and 
death. A young mathematician may be ex- 
cused for languor in studying curves to be 
described only with a pencil ; but not in trac- 
ing those which are to be described with a 
rocket. Your knowledge of a wholesome herb 
may involve the feeding of an army ; and ac- 
quaintance with an obscure pointof geography, 
the success of a campaign. Never waste an 
instant's time, therefore ; the sin of idleness 
is a thousand-fold greater in you than in other 
youths ; for the fates of those who will one 
day be under your command hang upon your 
knowledge ; lost moments now will be lost 
lives then, and every instant which you care- 
lessly take for play, you buy ..»* oiuod 
But there is one way of wasting time, of a. 
the vilest, because it wastes, not irne only, bu.: 
the interest and energy of your minds. Q2 ai 
the ungentlemanly habits into which you caii 
fall, the vilest is betting, or interesting yoiB." 
selves in the issues of betting, it unites """iariv 
every condition of folly and ; .c ' w)r ^»« 


centrate your interest upon a matter of chance, 
instead of upon a subject of true knowledge ; 
and you back opinions which you have no 
grounds for forming, merely because they are 
your own. All the insolence of egotism is in 
this ; and so far as the love of excitement is 
complicated with the hope of winning money, 
you turn yourselves into the basest sort of 
tradesmen — those who live by speculation. 
Were there no other ground for industry, this 
would be a sufficient one ; that it protected 
you from the temptation to so scandalous a 
vice. Work faithfully, and you will put your- 
selves in possession of a glorious and enlarg- 
ing happiness ; not such as can be won by the 
speed of a horse, or marred by the obliquity 
of a ball. 

First, then, by industry you must fulfil your 
vow to your country; but all industry and 
earnestness will be useless unless they are 
consecrated by your resolution to be in all 
things men of honor ; not honor in the com- 
mon sense only, but in the highest. Rest on 
the force of the two main words in the great 
verse, integer vitas, scelerisque punts. You 
have vowed your life to England ; give it her 
wholly — a bright, stainless, perfect life— a 



knightly life. Because you have to fight with 
machines instead of lances, there may be a 
necessity for more ghastly danger, but there is 
none for less worthiness of character, than in 
olden time. You may be true knights yet, 
though perhaps not equites ; you may have to 
call yourselves " cannonry " instead of " chiv- 
alry," but that is no reason why you should 
not call yourselves true men. So the first 
thing you have to see to in becoming soldiers 
is that you make yourselves wholly true. 
Courage is a mere matter of course among any 
ordinarily well-born youths ; but neither truth, 
nor gentleness is matter of course. Vou must 
bind them like shields about your necks ; you 
must write them on the tables of your hearts. 
Though it be not exacted of you yet exact it 
of yourselves, this vow of stainless truth* 
Your hearts are, if you leave them unstirred, 
as tombs in which a god lies- buried. Vow 
yourselves crusaders to redeem that sacred 
sepulchre. And remember, oefore all things 
— for no other memory will oe so protective of 
you — that the highest law of this knightly 
truth is that under which it is vowed to women, 
Whomsoever else you deceive, whomsoever 
you injure, whomsoever you leave unaided, 


you must not deceive, nor injure, nor leave 
unaided, according to your power, any woman 
of whatever rank. Believe me, every virtue of 
the higher phases of manly character begins 
in this ; — in truth and modesty before the face 
of all maidens ; in truth and pity, or truth and 
reverence, to all womanhood. 

And now let me turn for a moment to you, 
— wives and maidens, who are the souls of 
soldiers ; to you, — mothers, who have devoted 
your children to the great hierarchy of war. 
Let me ask you to consider what part you 
have to take for the aid of those who love 
you ; for if you fail in your part they cannot 
fulfil theirs ; such absolute helpmates you are 
that no man can stand without that help, nor 
labor in his own strength. 

I know your hearts, and that the truth of 
them never fails when an hour of trial comes 
which you recognize for such. But you know 
not when the hour of trial first finds you, nor 
when it verily finds you. You imagine that 
you are only called upon to wait and suffer ; 
to surrender and to mourn. You know that 
you must not weaken the hearts of your hus- 
bands and lovers, even by the one fear of 
which those hearts are capable, — the fear of 

WAR. 173 

parting from you, or of causing you grief. 
Through weary years of separation ; through 
fearful expectancies of unknown fate ; through 
the tenfold bitterness of the sorrow which 
might so easily have been joy, and the tenfold 
yearning for glorious life struck down in its 
prime — through all these agonies you fail not, 
and never will fail. But your trial is not in 
these. To be heroic in danger is little ; — you 
are Englishwomen. To be heroic in change 
and sway of fortune is little ; — for do you not 
love ? To be patient through the great chasm 
and pause of loss is little ; for do you not still 
love in heaven ? But to be heroic in happi- 
ness ; to bear yourselves gravely and right- 
eously in the dazzling of the sunshine of 
morning ; not to forget the God in whom you 
trust, when He gives you most; not to fail 
those who trust you, when they seem to need 
you least ; this is the difficult fortitude. It is 
not in the pining of absence, not in the peril 
of battle, not in the wasting of sickness, that 
your prayer should be most passionate, or 
your guardianship most tender. Pray, mothers 
and maidens, for your young soldiers in the 
bloom of their pride ; pray for them, while the 
only dangers round them are in their own. 


wayward wills ; watch you, and pray, when 
they have to face, not death, but temptation. 
But it is this fortitude also for which there is 
the crowning reward. Believe me, the whole 
course and character of your lovers' lives is in 
your hands ; what you would have them be, 
they shall be, if you not only desire to have 
them so, but deserve to have them so ; for 
they are but mirrors in which you will see 
yourselves imaged. If you are frivolous, they 
will be so also ; if you have no understanding 
of the scope of their duty, they also will for- 
get it ; they will listen, — they can listen, — to 
no other interpretation of it than that uttered 
from your lips. Bid them be brave ; — they 
will be brave for you ; bid them be cowards ; 
and how noble soever they be, they will quail 
for you. Bid them be wise, and they will be 
wise for you ; mock at their counsel, and they 
will be fools for you : such and so absolute 
is your rule over them. You fancy, perhaps, 
as you have been told so often, that a wife's 
rule should only be over her husband's house, 
not over his mind. Ah, no ! the true rule is 
just the reverse of that ; a true wife, in her 
husband's house, is his servant ; it is in his 
heart that she is queen. Whatever of the best 

WAR. 175 

he can conceive, it is her part to be ; whatever 
of highest he can hope, it is hers to promise ; 
all that is dark in him she must purge into- 
purity ; all that is failing in him she must 
strengthen into truth : from her, through all 
the world's clamor, he must win his praise ; 
in her, through all the world's warfare, he 
must find his peace. 

And, now, but one word more. You may 
wonder, perhaps, that I have spoken all this 
night in praise of war. Yet, truly, if it might 
be, I, for one, would fain join in the cadence 
of hammer-strokes that should beat swords 
into ploughshares ; and that this cannot be, is 
not the fault of us men. It is your fault. 
Wholly yours. Only by your command, or by 
your permission, can any contest take place 
among us. And the real, final reason for all 
the poverty, misery, and rage of battle, 
throughout Europe, is simply that you women, 
however good, however religious, however self- 
sacrificing for those whom you love, are too 
selfish and too thoughtless to take pains for 
any creature out of your own immediate cir- 
cles. You fancy that you are sorry for the 
pain of others. Now I just tell you this, that 
if the usual course of war, instead of unroof- 


ing peasants' houses, and ravaging peasants' 
fields, merely broke the china upon your own 
drawing-room tables, no war in civilized coun- 
tries would last a week. I tell you more, that 
at whatever moment you chose to put a 
period to war, you could do it with less 
trouble than you take any day to go out to 
dinner. You know, or at least you might 
know if you would think, that every battle you 
hear of has made many widows and orphans. 
We have, none of us, heart enough truly to 
mourn with these. But at least we might put 
on the outer symbols of mourning with them. 
Let but every Christian lady who has con- 
science towards God, vow that she will mourn, 
at least outwardly, for His killed creatures. 
Your praying is useless, and your church- 
going mere mockery of God, if you have not 
plain obedience in you enough for this. Let 
every lady in the upper classes of civilized 
Europe simply vow, that, while any cruel war 
proceeds, she will wear black ; — a mute's black, 
— with no jewel, no ornament, no excuse for, 
or evasion into, prettiness. — I tell you again, 
no war would last a week. 

And lastly. You women of England are all 
jaow shrieking with one voice. — you and yoin 

WAR. 177 

clergymen together, — because you hear of your 
Bibles being attacked. If you choose to 
obey your Bibles, you will never care who 
attacks them. It is just because you never 
fulfil a single downright precept of the Book, 
that you are so careful for its credit : and just 
because you don't care tc obey its whole words, 
that you are so particular about the letters of 
them. The Bible tells you to dress plainly, — 
and you are mad for finery ; the Bible tells 
you to have pity on the poor, — and you crush 
them under your carriage-wheels ; the Bible 
tells you to do judgment and justice, — and 
you do not know, nor care to know, so much 
as what the Bible word " justice " means. 
Do but learn so much of God's truth as that 
comes to ; know what He means when He 
tells you to be just: and teach your sons, 
that their bravery is but a fool's boast, and 
their deeds but a firebrand's tossing, unless 
they are indeed Just men, and Perfect in the 
fear of God ; and you will soon have no more 
war, unless it be indeed such as is willed by 
Him, of whom, though Prince of Peace, it is 
also written, "In Righteousness He doth 
judge, and make war." 






{Delivered at the R. A. Institution, Woolwich, December 
14, 1869.) 

I would fain have left to the frank ex- 
pression of the moment, but fear I could 
not have found clear words — I cannot easily 
find them, even deliberately, — to tell you how 
glad I am, and yet how ashamed, to accept 
your permission to speak to you. Ashamed 
of appearing to think that I can tell you any 
truth which you have not more deeply felt 
than I ; but glad in the thought that my less 
experience, and way of life sheltered from the 
trials, and free from the responsibilities of 
yours, may have left me with something of a 
child's power of help to you ; a sureness of 
hope, which may perhaps be the one thing 
that can be helpful to men who have done too 
much not to have often failed in doing all 
that they desired. And indeed, even the most 
hopeful of us cannot but now be in many 



things apprehensive. For this at least we all 
know too well, that we are on the eve of a 
great political crisis, if not of political change. 
That a struggle is approaching between the 
newly-risen power of democracy and the ap- 
parently departing power of feudalism; and 
another struggle, no less imminent, and far 
more dangerous, between wealth and pau- 
perism. These two quarrels are constantly 
thought of as the same. They are being 
fought together, and an apparently common 
interest unites for the most part the million- 
aire with the noble, in resistance to a multi- 
tude, crying, part of it for bread and part of it 
for liberty. 

And yet no two quarrels can be more 
distinct. Riches — so far from being necessary 
to noblesse — are adverse to it. So utterly 
adverse, that the first character of all the 
Nobilities which have founded great dynasties 
in the world is to be poor ; — often poor by 
oath — always poor by generosity. And of 
every true knight in the chivalric ages, the first 
thing history tells you is, that he never kept 
treasure for himself. 

Thus the causes of wealth and noblesse 
are not the samt. ; but opposite. On the 


other hand, the causes of anarchy and of the 
poor are not the same, but opposite. Side by 
side, in the same rank, are now indeed set the 
pride that revolts against authority, and the 
misery that appeals against avarice. But, so 
far from being a common cause, all anarchy 
is the forerunner of poverty, and all 
prosperity begins in obedience. So that, 
thus, it has become impossible to give due 
support to the cause of order, without seem- 
ing to countenance injury; and impossible to 
plead justly the claims of sorrow, without 
seeming to plead also for those of licence. 

Let me try, then, to put in very brief terms 
the real plan of this various quarrel, and the 
truth of the cause on each side. Let us face 
that full truth, whatever it may be, and decide 
■what part, according to our power, we should 
take in the quarrel. 

First. For eleven hundred years, all 
but five, since Charlemagne set on his head 
the Lombard crown, the body of European 
people have submitted patiently to be gov- 
erned generally by kings — always by single 
leaders of some kind. But for the last fifty 
years they have begun to suspect, and of late 
they have many of them concluded,, that they 


have been on the whole ill-governed, or misgov- 
erned, by their kings. Whereupon they say, 
more and more widely, "Let us henceforth 
have no kings ; and no government at all." 

Now we said, we must face the full truth of 
the matter, in order to see what we are to do. 
And the truth is that the people have been 
misgoverned ; — that very little is to be said, 
hitherto, for most of their masters — and that 
certainly in many places they will try their 
new system of " no masters : " — and as that 
arrangement will be delightful to all foolish 
persons, and, at first, profitable to all wicked 
ones, — and as these classes are not wanting 
or unimportant in any human society, — the ex- 
periment is likely to be tried extensively. 
And the world may be quite content to endure 
much suffering with this fresh hope, and re- 
tain its faith in anarchy, whatever comes of it, 
till it can endure no more. 

Then, secondly. The people have be- 
gun to suspect that one particular form of 
this past misgovernment has been, that their 
masters have set them to do all the work, 
and have themselves taken all the wages. In 
a word, that what was called governing them, 
meant only wearing fine clothes, and living on 


good fare at their expense. And I am sorry 
to say, the people are quite right in this opin- 
ion also. If you inquire into the vital fact of 
the matter, this you will find to be the con- 
stant structure of European society for the 
thousand years of the feudal system ; it was 
divided into peasants who lived by working ; 
priests who lived by begging ; and knights 
who lived by pillaging ; and as the luminous 
public mind becomes gradually cognizant of 
these facts, it will assuredly not suffer things 
to be altogether arranged that way any more ; 
and the devising of other ways will be an 
agitating business ; especially because the 
first impression of the intelligent populace is, 
that whereas, in the dark ages, half the nation 
lived idle, in the bright ages to come, the 
•whole of it may. 

Now, thirdly — and here is much the 
worst phase of the crisis. This past system 
of misgovernment, especially during the last 
three hundred years, has prepared, by its 
neglect, a class among the lower orders which 
it is now peculiarly difficult to govern. It 
deservedly lost their respect — but that was 
the least part of mischief. The deadly part of 
it was, that the lower orders lost their habit, 


and at last their faculty, of respect ; — lost th« 
very capability of reverence, which is the most 
precious part of the human soul. Exactly in 
the degree in which you can find creatures, 
greater than yourself, to look up to, in that 
degree, you are ennobled yourself, and, in 
that degree, happy. If you could live always 
in the presence of archangels, you would be 
happier than in that of men ; but even if only 
in the company of admirable knights and 
beautiful ladies, the more noble and Dright 
they were, and the more you could reverence 
their virtue, the happier you would be. On 
the contrary, if you were condemned to live 
among a multitude of idiots, dumb, distorted, 
and malicious, you would not be happy in the 
constant sense of your own superiority. Thus 
all real joy and power of progress in humanity 
depend on finding something to reverence, 
and all the baseness and misery of humanity 
begin in a habit of disdain. Now, by general 
misgovernment, I repeat, we have created in 
Europe a vast populace, and out of Europe a 
still vaster one, which has lost even the power 
and conception of reverence ;* — which exists 

» Compare Time and Tide, § 169, and Fors Clavigera 
tatter XIV. page 9, 


only in the worship of itself — which can 
neither see anything beautiful around it, nor 
conceive anything virtuous above it ; which 
has, towards all goodness and greatness, no 
other feelings than those of the lowest creat- 
ures — fear, hatred, or hunger ; a populace 
which has sunk below your appeal in their 
nature, as it has risen beyond your power in 
their multitude ; — whom you can now no 
more charm than you can the adder, nor dis- 
cipline, than you can the summer fly. 

It is a crisis, gentlemen ; and time to think 
of it. I have roughly and broadly put it be- 
fore you in its darkness. Let us look what 
we may find of light. 

Only the other day, in a journal which 
is a fairly representative exponent of the Con- 
servatism of our day, and for the most part 
not at all in favor of strikes or other popular 
proceedings ; only about three weeks since, 
there was a leader, with this, or a similar, title 
— " What is to become of the House of 
Lords ? " It startled me, for it seemed as if 
we were going even faster than I had thought, 
when such a question was put as a subject of 
quite open debate, in a journal meant chiefly 
for the reading of the middle and upper classes. 


Open or not — the debate is near. What it 
to become of them ? And the answer to such 
question depends first on their being able to 
answer another question — " What is the use 
of them ? " For some time back, I think the 
theory of the nation has been, that they are 
useful as impediments to business, so as to 
give time for second thoughts. But the na- 
tion is getting impatient of impediments to 
business ; and certainly, sooner or later, will 
think it needless to maintain these expensive 
obstacles to its humors. And I have not 
heard, either in public, or from any of them- 
selves, a clear expression of their own concep- 
tion of their use. So that it seems thus to be- 
come needful for all men to tell them, as our 
one quite clear-sighted teacher, Carlyle, has 
been telling us for many a year, that the use 
of the Lords of a country is to govern the coun- 
try. If they answer that use, the country will 
rejoice in keeping them ; if not, that will be- 
come of them which must of all things found 
to have lost their serviceableness. 

Here, therefore, is the one question, at 
this crisis, for them, and for us. Will they be 
lords indeed, and give us laws — dukes indeed, 
and give us guiding — princes indeed, and give 


US beginning, cf truer dynasty, which shall not 
be soiled by covetousness, nor disordered by 
iniquity ? Have they themselves sunk so far 
as not to hope this ? Are there yet any among 
them who can stand forward with open Eng- 
lish brows, and say, — So far as in me lies, I 
will govern with my might, not for Dieu et mon 
Droit, but for the first grand reading of the 
war cry from which that was corrupted, " Dieu 
et Droit"? Among them I know there are 
some — among you, soldiers of England, I know 
there are many, who can do this ; and in you 
is our trust. I, one of the lower people of 
your country, ask of you in their name, — you 
whom I will not any more call soldiers, but by 
the truer name of Knights ; — Equites of Eng- 
land, — how many yet of you are there, knights 
errant now beyond all former fields of danger 
— knights patient now beyond all former endur- 
ance ; who still retain the ancient and eternal 
purpose of knighthood, to subdue the wicked, 
and aid the weak ? To them, be they few or 
many, we English people call for help to the 
wretchedness, and for rule over the baseness, 
of multitudes desolate and deceived, shrieking 
to one another, this new gospel of their new 
religion. " Let the weak do as they can, and 
the wicked as they will." 



I can hear you saying in your hearts, 
even the bravest of you, " The time is past 
for all that." Gentlemen, it is not so. The 
time has come for more than all that. Hither- 
to, soldiers have given their lives for false 
fame, and for cruel power. The day is now 
when they must give their lives for true fame, 
and fcr beneficent power : and the work is 
near every one of you — close beside you — the 
means of it even thrust into your hands. 
The people are crying to you for command, 
and you stand there at pause, and silent. 
You think they don't want to be commanded ; 
try them ; determine what is needful for them 
— honorable for them ; show it them, promise 
to bring them to it, and they will follow you 
through fire. " Govern us," they cry with one 
heart, though many minds. They can be 
governed still, these English ; they are men 
still ; nor gnats, nor serpents. They love 
their old ways yet, and their old masters, and 
their old land. They would fain live in it, as 
many as may stay there, if you will show them 
how, there, to live ; — or show them even, how, 
there, like Englishmen, to die. 

" To live in it, as many as may ! " How 
many do you think may ? How many 


tan 1 How many do you want to live there ? 
As masters, your first object must be to in- 
crease your power ; and in what does the 
power of a country consist ? Will you have 
dominion over its stones, or over its clouds, 
or over its souls ? What do you mean by a 
great nation, but a great multitude of men 
who are true to each other, and strong, and of 
worth ? Now you can increase the multitude 
only definitely — your island has only so much 
standing room — but you can increase the 
worth /^definitely. It is but a little island ; — 
suppose, little as it is, you were to fill it with 
friends? You may, and that easily. You 
must, and that speedily ; or there will be an 
end to this England of ours, and to all its 
loves and enmities. 

To fill this little island with true friends 
— men brave, wise and happy ! Is it so 
impossible, think you, after the world's 
eighteen hundred years of Christianity, and 
our own thousand years of toil, to fill only 
this little white gleaming crag with happy 
creatures, helpful to each other ? Africa, and 
India, and the Brazilian wide- watered plain, 
are these not wide enough for the ignorance 
of our race ? have they not space enough for 


its pain ? Must we remain hereto savage,— 
herevX enmity with each other, — here f oodless, 
houseless, in rags, in dust, and without hope, 
as thousands and tens of thousands of us are 
lying ? Do not think it, gentlemen. The 
thought that it is inevitable is the last in- 
fidelity ; infidelity not to God only, but to 
eveiy creature and every law that He has 
made. Are we to think that the earth was 
only shaped to be a globe of torture ; and 
that there cannot be one spot of it where 
peace can rest, or justice reign ? Where are 
men ever to be happy, if not in England ? by 
whom shall they ever be taught to do right, if 
not by you ? Are we not of a race first among 
the strong ones of the earth ; the blood in us 
incapable of weariness, unconquerable by 
grief? Have we not a history of which we 
can hardly think without becoming insolent in 
our just pride of it ? Can we dare, without 
passing every limit of courtesy to other nations, 
to say how much more we have to be proud 
of in our ancestors than they ? Among our 
ancient monarchs, great crimes stand out as 
monstrous and strange. But their valor, and, 
according to their understanding, their be- 
nevolence, are constant. The Wars of the 



Roses, which are as a fearful crimson shadow 
on our land, represent the normal condition 
of other nations ; while from the days of the 
Heptarchy downwards we have had examples 
given us, in all ranks, of the most varied and 
exalted virtue ; a heap of treasure that no 
moth can corrupt, and which even our 
traitorship, if we are to become traitors to it, 
cannot sully. 

And this is the race, then, that we 
know not any more how to govern ! and this 
the history which we are to behold broken off 
by sedition ! and this is the country, of all 
others, where life is to become difficult to the 
honest, and ridiculous to the wise ! And the 
catastrophe, forsooth, is to come just when we 
have been making swiftest progress beyond 
the v/isdom and wealth of the past. Our 
cities are a wilderness of spinning wheels 
instead of palaces ; yet the people have not 
clothes. We have blackened every leaf of 
English greenwood with ashes, and the 
people die of cold ; our harbors are a forest 
of merchant ships, and the people die of 

Whose fault is it ? Yours, gentlemen ; 
yours only. You alone can feed them, and 
l 3 


clothe, and bring into their right minds, fof 
you only can govern — that is to say, you only 
can educate them. 

Educate, or govern, they are one and 
the same word. Education docs not mean 
teaching people to know what they do not 
know. It means teaching them to behave as 
they do not behave. And the true " com- 
pulsory education " which the people now ask 
of you is not catechism, but drill. It is not 
teaching the youth of England the shapes of 
letters and the tricks of numbers ; and then 
leaving them to turn their arithmetic to rogu- 
ery, and their literature to lust. It is, on the 
contrary, training them into the perfect ex- 
ercise and kingly continence of their bodies 
and souls. It is a painful, continual, and 
difficult work ; to be done by kindness, by 
watching, by warning, by precept, and by 
praise, — but above all — by example. 

Compulsory ! Yes, by all means ! " Go 
ye out into the highways and hedges, 
and compel them to come in." Compulsory ! 
Yes, and gratis also. Dei Gratia, they must 
be taught, as, Dei Gratia, you are set to teach 
them. I hear strange talk continually, " how 
difficult it is to make people pay for being edu- 


eated ! " Why, I should think so ! Do you 
make your children pay for their education, or 
do you give it them compulsorily, and gratis 1 
You do not expect them to pay you for their 
teaching, except by becoming good children. 
Why should you expect a peasant to pay for 
his, except by becoming a good man ? — pay- 
ment enough, I think, if we knew it. Pay- 
ment enough to himself, as to us. For that 
is another of our grand popular mistakes — 
people are always thinking of education as a 
means of livelihood. Education is not a profit- 
able business, but a costly one ; nay, even 
the best attainments of it are always unprofit- 
able, in any terms of coin. No nation ever 
made its bread either by its great arts, or its 
great wisdoms. By its minor arts or manu- 
factures, by its practical knowledges, yes : but 
its noble scholarship, its noble philosophy, 
and its noble art, are always to be bought as 
a treasure, not sold for a livelihood. You 
do not learn that you may live — you live that 
you may learn. You are to spend on Na- 
tional Education, and to be spent for it, and 
to make by it, not more money, but better 
men; — to get into this British Island the 
greatest possible number of good and brave 


Englishmen. TJiey are to be your " money's 

But where is the money to come from? 
Yes, that is to be asked. Let us, as quite the 
first business in this our national crisis, look not 
only into our affairs, but into our accounts, 
and obtain some general notion how we an- 
nually spend our money, and what we are get- 
ting for it. Observe, I do not mean to inquire 
into the public revenue only ; of that some 
account is rendered already. But let us do 
the best we can to set down the items of the 
national private expenditure; and know what 
we spend altogether, and how. 

To begin with this matter of education. 
You probably have nearly all seen the 
admirable lecture lately given by Captain 
Maxse, at Southampton. It contains a clear 
statement of the facts at present ascertained 
as to our expenditure in that respect. It ap- 
pears that of our public moneys, for every 
pound that we spend on education we spend 
twelve either in charity or punishment ; — ten 
millions a year in pauperism and crime, and 
eight hundred thousand in instruction. Now 
Captain Maxse adds to this estimate of ten 
millions public money spent on crime and 


want, a more or less conjectural sum of eight 
millions for private charities. My impression 
is that this is much beneath the truth, but at 
all events it leaves out of consideration much 
the heaviest and saddest form of charity — the 
maintenance, by the working members of 
families, of the unfortunate or ill-conducted 
persons whom the general course of misrule 
now leaves helpless to be the burden of the 

Now I want to get first at some, I do not 
say approximate, but at all events some 
suggestive, estimate of the quantity of real 
distress and misguided life in this country. 
Then next, I want some fairly representative 
estimate of our private expenditure in luxuries. 
We won't spend more, publicly, it appears, 
than eight hundred thousand a year, on educat- 
ing men, gratis. I want to know, as nearly 
as possible, what we spend privately a year, 
in educating horses gratis. Let us, at least, 
quit ourselves in this from the taunt of Rab- 
shakeh, and see that for every horse we train 
also a horseman ; and that the rider be at 
least as high-bred as the horse, not jockey, 
but chevalier. Again, we spend eight hun- 
dred thousand, which is certainly a great deal 


of money, in making rough minds bright. 1 
want to know how much we spend annually in 
making rough stones bright ; that is to say, 
what may be the united annual sum, or near 
it, of our jewellers' bills. So much we pay for 
educating children gratis ; — how much for 
educating diamonds gratis ? and which pays 
best for brightening the spirit, or the charcoal? 
Let us get those two items set down with some 
sincerity, and a few more of the same kind. 
Publicly se* - down. We must not be ashamed 
of the way we spend our money. If our right 
hand is not to know what our left does, it 
must not be because it would be ashamed if it 

That is, therefore, quite the first practical 
thing to be done. Let every man who wishes 
well to his country, render it yearly an account 
of his income, and of the main heads of his 
expenditure ; or, if he is ashamed to do so, let 
him no more impute to the poor their poverty 
as a crime, nor set them to break stones in 
order to frighten them from committing it. 
To lose money ill is indeed often a crime ; but 
to get it ill is a worse one, and to spend it ill, 
worst of all. You object, Lords of England, 
to increase, to the poor, the wages you give 


them, because they spend them, you say, un- 
advisedly. Render them, therefore, an ac- 
count of the wages which they give you ; and 
show them, by your example, how to spend 
theirs, to the last farthing, advisedly. 

It is indeed time to make this an ac- 
knowledged subject of instruction, to the 
working-man, — how to spend his wages. For, 
gentlemen, we must give that instruction, 
whether we will or no, one way or the other. 
We have given it in years gone by ; and now 
we find fault with our peasantry for having 
been too docile, and profited too shrewdly by 
our tuition. Only a few days since I had a 
letter from the wife of a village rector, a man 
of common sense and kindness, who was 
greatly troubled in his mind because it was 
precisely the men who got highest wages in 
summer that came destitute to his door in the 
winter. Destitute, and of riotous temper — for 
their method of spending wages in their period 
of prosperity was by sitting two days a week 
in the tavern parlor, ladling port wine, not out 
of bowls, but out of buckets. Well, gentle- 
men, who taught them that method of festivity ? 
Thirty years ago, I, a most inexperienced 
freshman, went to my first college supper j at 


the head of the table sat a nobleman of high 
promise and of admirable powers since dead 
of palsy ; there also we had in the midst of us, 
not buckets, indeed, but bowls as large as 
buckets ; there also we helped ourselves with 
ladles. There (for this beginning of college 
education was compulsory), I, choosing ladle- 
fuls of punch instead of claret, because I was 
then able, unperceived, to pour them into my 
waistcoat instead of down my throat, stood it 
out to the end, and helped to carry four of my 
fellow students, one of them the son of the 
head of a college, head-foremost downstairs 
and home. 

Such things are no more ; but the fruit 
of them remains, and will for many a day to 
come. The laborers whom you cannot now 
shut out of the ale-house are only the too 
faithful disciples of the gentlemen who were 
wont to shut themselves into the dining-room. 
The gentlemen have not thought it necessary, 
in order to correct their own habits, to dimh> 
ish their incomes ; and, believe me, the way 
to deal with your drunken workman is not to 
lower his wages, — but to mend his wits.* 

* Compare § 70 of Time and Tide. 


And if indeed we do not yet see quite 
clearly how to deal with the sins of our poor 
brother, it is possible that our dimness of 
sight may still have other causes that can be 
cast out. There are two opposite cries of the 
great Liberal and Conservative parties, which 
are both most right, and worthy to be rallying 
cries. On their side, " Let every man have 
his chance ; " on yours, " Let every man stand 
in his place." Yes, indeed, let that be so, 
every man in his place, and every man fit for 
it. See that he holds that place from Heaven's 
Providence ; and not from his family's Provi- 
dence. Let the Lords Spiritual quit them- 
selves of simony, we laymen will look after 
the heretics for them. Let the Lords Tem- 
poral quit themselves of nepotism, and we 
will take care of their authority for them. 
Publish for us, you soldiers, an army gazette, 
in which the one subject of dairy intelligence 
shall be the grounds of promotion ; a gazette 
which shall simply tell us, what there certainly 
can be no detriment to the service in our know- 
ing, when any officer is appointed to a new 
command, — what his former services and suc- 
cesses have been, — whom he has superseded, — 
and on what ground. It will be always a sat- 


isfaction to us ; it may sometimes be an ad- 
vantage to you : and then, when there is really 
necessary debate respecting reduction of 
wages, let us always begin not with the wages 
of the industrious classes, but with those of 
the idle ones. Let there be honorary titles, 
if people like them ; but let there be no hon- 
orary incomes. 

So much for the master's motto, " Every 
man in his place." Next for the laborer's 
motto, " Every man his chance." Let us 
mend that for them a little, and say, " Every 
man his certainty " — certainty, that if he does 
well, he will be honored, and aided, and ad- 
vanced in such degree as may be fitting for 
-his faculty and consistent with his peace ; and 
equal certainty that if he does ill, he will by 
sure justice be judged, and by sure punish- 
ment be chastised ; if it may be, corrected ; 
and if that may not be, condemned. That is 
the right reading of the Republican motto, 
" Every man his chance." And then, with 
such a system of government, pure, watchful, 
and just, you may approach your great prob- 
lem of national education, or, in other words, 
of national employment. For all education 
begins in work. What we think, or what we 


know, or what we believe, is in the end of 
little consequence. The only thing of conse- 
quence is what we do : and for man v woman or 
child, the first point of education is to make 
them do their best. It is the law of good 
economy to make the best of everything. How 
much more to make the best of every creature ! 
Therefore, when your pauper comes to you 
and asks for bread, ask of him instantly — 
What faculty have you ? What can you do 
best ? Can you drive a nail into wood ? Gc* 
and mend the parish fences. Can you lay a 
brick ? Mend the walls of the cottages where 
the wind comes in. Can you lift a spadeful of 
earth? Turn this field up three feet deep all 
over. Can you only drag a weight with your 
shoulders ? Stand at the bottom of this hill 
and help up the overladen horses. Can you 
weld iron and chisel stone ? Fortify this 
wreck-strewn coast into a harbor ; and change 
these shifting sands into fruitful ground. 
Wherever death was, bring life ; that is to be 
your work ; that your parish refuge ; that your 
education. So and no otherwise can we meet 
existent distress. But for the continual educa- 
tion of the whole people, and for their future 
happiness, they must have such consistent 


employment, as shall develop all the powers of 
the fingers, and the limbs, and the brain : and 
that development in only to be obtained by 
hand-labor, of which you have these four great 
divisions — hand-labor on the earth, hand-labor 
on the sea, hand-labor in art, hand-labor in war. 
Of the last two of these I cannot speak to-night, 
and of the first two only with extreme brevity. 
I. Hand-labor on the earth, the work of 
the husbandman and cf the shepherd ; — to 
dress the earth and to keep the flocks of it— 
the first task of man, and the final one — the 
education always of noblest lawgivers, kings 
and teachers ; the education of Hesiod, of 
Moses, of David, of all the true strength of 
Rome ; and all its tenderness : the pride of 
Cincinnatus and the inspiration of Virgil. 
Hand-labor on the earth, and the harvest of it 
brought forth with singing : — not steam-piston 
labor on the earth, and the harvest of it brought 
forth with steam-whistling. You will have no 
prophet's voice accompanied by that shep- 
herd's pipe, and pastoral symphony. Do 
you know that lately, in Cumberland, in the 
chief pastoral district of England, — in Words- 
worth's own home, — a procession of villagers 
on their festa day provided for themselves, by 


way cf music, a steam-plough whistling at the 
head of them ! 

Give me patience while I put the prin- 
ciple of machine labor before you, as clearly 
and in as short compass as possible ; it is 
one that should be known at this junct- 
ure. Suppose a farming proprietor needs to- 
employ a hundred men on his estate, and that 
the labor cf these hundred men is enough, but 
not more than enough, to till all his land, and 
to raise from it food for his own family, and 
for the hundred laborers. He is obliged, un- 
der such circumstances, to maintain all the 
men i:i moderate comfort, and can only by 
economy accumulate much for himself. But, 
suppose he contrive a machine that will easily 
do the work of fifty men, with only one mart 
to watch it. This sounds like a great advance 
in civilization. The farmer of course gets his 
machine made, turns off the fifty men who 
may starve or emigrate at their choice, and 
now he can keep half of the produce cf his 
estate, which formerly went to feed them, all to 
himself. That is the essential and constant 
operation of machinery among us at this mo- 

Nay, it is at first answered ; no man can 


in reality keep half the produce of an estate 
to himself, nor can he in the end keep 
more than his own human share of anything ; 
his riches must diffuse themselves at some 
time ; he must maintain somebody else with 
them, however he spends them. That is 
mainly true (not altogether so), for food and 
fuel are in ordinary circumstances personally 
wasted by rich people, in quantities which 
would save many lives. One of my own great 
luxuries, for instance, is candlelight — and I 
probably burn, for myself alone, as many can- 
dles during the winter, as would comfort the old 
eyes, or spare the young ones, of a whole 
rushlighted country village. Still, it is mainly 
true that it is not by their personal waste that 
rich people prevent the lives of the poor. This 
is the way they do it. Let me go back to my 
farmer. He has got his machine made, which 
goes creaking, screaming, and occasionally ex- 
ploding, about modern Arcadia. He has turned 
off his fifty men to starve. Now, at some 
distance from his own farm, there is another 
on which the laborers were working for their 
bread in the same way, by tilling the land. 
The machinist sends over to these, saying — " I 
have got food enough for you without your 


digging or ploughing any more. I can main- 
tain you in other occupations instead of plough- 
ing that land ; if you rake in its gravel you will 
find some hard stones — you shall grind those 
on mills till they glitter ; then, my wife shall 
wear a necklace of them. Also, if you turn up 
the meadows below you will find some fine white 
clay, of which you shall make a porcelain service 
for me : and the rest of the farm I want for 
pasture for horses for my carriage — and you. 
shall groom them, and some of you ride behind 
the carriage with staves in your hands, and I 
will keep you much fatter for doing that than 
you can keep yourselves by digging." 

Well — but it is answered, are we to have 
no diamonds, nor china, nor pictures, nor 
footmen, then — but all to be farmers ? I 
am not saying what we ought to do, I want 
only to show you with perfect clearness first 
what we are doing ; and that, I repeat, is the 
upshot of machine-contriving in this country. 
And observe its effect on the national strength. 
Without machines, you have a hundred and 
fifty yeomen ready to join fc defence of 
the land. You get your machu 2, starve fifty 
of them, make diamond-cutters o r footmen of 
as many more, and for your national defence 


against an enemy, you have now, and can have, 
only fifty men, instead of a hundred and fifty ; 
these also now with minds much alienated 
from you as their chief,* and the rest, lapidaries 
or footmen ; — and a steam plough. 

That is the one effect of machinery ; but 
at all events, if we have thus lost in men, we 
have gained in riches ; instead of happy human 
souls, we have at least got pictures, china, 
horses, and are ourselves better off than we 
were before. But very often, and in much of 
our machine-contriving, even that result does 
not follow. We are not one whit the richer 
for the machine, we only employ it for our 
amusement. For observe, our gaining in riches 
depends on the men who are out of employment 
consenting to be starved, or sent out of the 
country. But suppose they do not consent 
passively to be starved, but some of them be- 
come criminals, and have to be taken charge 
of and fed at a much greater cost than if they 
were at work, and others, paupers, rioters, and 
the like, thei you attain the real outcome of 
modern wisd m and ingenuity. You had your 
hundred meii honestly at country work ; but 

* [They were deserting, I am informed, in the early 
part of this year, 1873, at ^ e rate °f a regiment a week.] 


you don't like the sight of human beings in 
your fields ; you like better to see a smoking 
kettle. You pay, as an amateur, for that 
pleasure, and you employ your fifty men in 
picking oakum, cr begging, rioting, and thiev- 

By hand-labor, therefore, and that alone, 
we are to till the ground. By hand-labor 
also to plough the sea ; both for food, 
and in commerce, and in war ; not with float- 
ing kettles there neither, but with hempen 
bridle, and the winds of heaven in harness. 
That is the way the power of Greece rose on 
her Egean, the power of Venice on her Adria, 
of Amalfl in her blue bay, of the Norman sea- 
riders from the North Cape to Sicily : — so, 
your own dominion also of the past. Of the 
past, mind you. On the Baltic and the Nile, 
your power is already departed. By ma- 
chinery you would advance to discovery ; by 
machinery you would carry your commerce ; — 
you would be engineers instead of sailors ; 
and instantly in the North seas you are beaten 
among the ice, and before the very Gods of 
Nile, beaten among the sand. Agriculture, 
then, by the hand or by the plough drawn 
only by animals ; and shepherd and pastoral 


husbandry, are to be the chief schools of 
Englishmen. And this most royal academy of 
all academies you have to open over all the 
land, purifying your heaths and hills, and 
waters, and keeping them full of every kind of 
lovely natural organism, in tree, herb, and living 
creature. All land that is waste and ugly, you 
must redeem into ordered fruitfulness ; all ruin, 
desolateness, imperfectness of hut or habita- 
tion, you must do away with ; and throughout 
every village and city of your English dominion, 
there must not be a hand that cannot find a 
helper, nor a heart that cannot find a com- 

" How impossible ! " I know, you are 
thinking. Ah ! So far from impossible, it is 
easy, it is natural, it is necessary, and I de- 
clare to you that, sooner or later, it must be 
done, at our peril. If now our English lords 
of land will fix this idea steadily before 
them ; take the people to their hearts, trust 
to their loyalty, lead their labor ; — then 
indeed there will be princes again in the 
midst of us, worthy of the island throne, 

* This royal throne of kings — this sceptred isle— ■ 
This fortress built by nature for herself 
Against infection, and the hard of war ; 


This precious stone set in the silver sea; 
This happy breed of men — this little world; 
This other Eden — Demi-Paradise." 

But if they refuse to do this, and hesitate and 
equivocate, clutching through the confused 
catastrophe of all things only at what they can 
still keep stealthily for themselves, — their 
doom is nearer than even their adversaries 
hope, and it will be deeper than even their 
despisers dream. 

That, believe me, is the work you have to 
do in England ; and out of England you have 
room for everything else you care to do. Are 
her dominions in the world so narrow that 
she can find no place to spin cotton in but 
Yorkshire ? We may organize emigration into 
an infinite power. We may assemble troops 
of the more adventurous and ambitious of our 
youth; we may send them on truest foreign 
service, founding new seats of authority, and 
centres of thought, in uncultivated and un- 
conquered lands ; retaining the full affection 
to the native country no less in our colonists 
than in our armies, teaching them to maintain 
allegiance to their fatherland in labor no less 
than in battle ; aiding them with free hand in 
the prosecution of discovery, and the victory 


over adverse natural powers ; establishing 
seats of every manufacture in the climates and 
places best fitted for it, and bringing ourselves 
into due alliance and harmony of skill with 
the dexterities of every race, and the wisdoms 
of every tradition and every tongue. 

And then you may make England itself the 
centre of the learning, of the arts, of the court- 
esies and felicities of the world. You may cover 
her mountains with pasture ; her plains with 
corn, her valleys with the lily, and her gardens 
with the rose. You may bring together there 
in peace the wise and the pure, and the gentle 
of the earth, and by their word, command 
through its farthest darkness the birth of 
" God's first creature, which was Light." You 
know whose words those are ; the words of 
the wisest of Englishmen. He, and with him 
the wisest of all other great nations, have 
spoken always to men of this hope, and they 
would not hear. Plato, in the dialogue of 
Critias, his last, broken off at his death,— 
Pindar, in passionate singing of the fortunate 
islands, — Virgil, in the prophetic tenth eclogue, 
— Bacon, in his fable of the New Atlantis, — 
More, in the book which, too impatiently wise, 
became the bye-word of fools — these, all, have 


told us with one voice what we should strive 
to attain ; they not hopeless of it, but for our 
follies forced, as it seems, by heaven, to tell us 
only partly and in parables, lest we should hear 
them and obey. 

Shall we never listen to the words of these 
wisest of men ? Then listen at least to the 
words of your children — let us in the lips of 
babes and sucklings find our strength ; and 
see that we do not make them mock instead 
of pray, when we teach them, night and morn- 
ing, to ask for what we believe never can be 
granted ; — that the will of the Father, — which 
is, that His creatures may be righteous and 
happy, — should be done, on earth, as it is in 




I am often accused of inconsistency ; but 
believe myself defensible against the charge 
with respect to what I have said on nearly 
every subject except that of war. It is impos- 
sible for me to write consistently of war, for 
the groups of facts I have gathered about it 
lead me to two precisely opposite conclusions. 

When I find this the case, in other matters, 
I am silent, till I can choose my conclusion : 
but, with respect to war, I am forced to speak, 
by the necessities of time ; and forced to act, 
one way or another. The conviction on which 
I act is that it causes an incalculable amount 
of avoidable human suffering, and that it 
ought to cease among Christian nations ; and 
if therefore any of my boy-friends desire to be 
soldiers, I try my utmost to bring them into 
what I conceive to be a better mind. But, on 
the other hand, I know certainly that the most 
beautiful characters yet developed among 
men have been formed in war ; — that all great 
nations have been warrior nations, and that 



the only kinds of peace which we are likely to 
get in the present age are ruinous alike to the 
intellect, and the heart. 

The third lecture, in this volume, addressed 
to young soldiers, had for its subject to 
strengthen their trust in the virtue of their 
profession. It is inconsistent with itself, in 
its closing appeal to women, praying them to 
use their influence to bring wars to an end. 
And I have been hindered from completing 
my long intended notes on the economy of 
the Kings of Prussia by continually increas- 
ing doubt how far the machinery and disci- 
pline of war, under which they learned the art 
of government, was essential for such lesson ; 
and what the honesty and sagacity of the 
Friedrich who so nobly repaired his ruined 
Prussia might have done for the happiness of 
his Prussia, unruined. 

In war, however, or in peace, the character 
which Carlyle chiefly loves him for, and in 
which Carlyle has shown him to differ from 
all kings up to this time succeeding him, is 
his constant purpose to use every power in- 
trusted to him for the good of his people ; and 
be, not in name only, but in heart and hand, 
their king. 

Not in ambition, but in natural instinct of 
duty. Friedrich, born to govern, determines 
to govern to the best of his faculty. That 
" best " may sometimes be unwise ; and self- 
will, or love of glory, may have their oblique 
hold on his mind, and warp it this way or that; 


but they are never principal with him. He 
believes that war is necessary, and maintains 
it ; sees that peace is necessary, and calmly 
persists in the work of it to the day of his 
death, not claiming therein more praise than 
the head of any ordinary household, who rules 
it simply because it is his place, and he must 
not yield the mastery of it to another. 

How far, in the future, it may be possible 
for men to gain the strength necessary for 
kingship without either fronting death, or in- 
flicting it, seems to me not at present deter- 
minable. The historical facts are that, broadly 
speaking, none but soldiers, or persons with a 
soldierly faculty, have ever yet shown them- 
selves fit to be kings ; and that no other men 
are so gentle, so just, or so clear-sighted. 
Wordsworth's character of the happy warrior 
cannot be reached in the height of it but by a 
warrior ; nay, so much is it beyond common 
strength that I had supposed the entire mean- 
ing of it to be metaphorical, until one of the 
best soldiers of England himself read me the 
poem,* and taught me, what I might have 
known, had I enough watched his own life, 
that it was entirely literal. There is nothing 
of so high reach distinctly demonstrable in 
Friedrich : but I see more and more, as I grow 
older, that the things which are the most 
worth, encumbered among the errors and 
faults of every man's nature, are never clearly 

* The late Sir Herbert Edwardes. 


demonstrable ; and are often most forcible 
when they are scarcely distinct to his own 
conscience, — how much less, clamorous for 
recognition by others ! 

Nothing can be more beautiful than Carlyle's 
showing of this, to any careful reader of Fried- 
rich. But careful readers are but one in the 
thousand ; and by the careless, the masses of 
detail with which the historian must deal are 

My own notes, made for the special purpose 
of hunting down the one point of economy, 
though they cruelly spoil Carlyle's own cur- 
rent and method of thought, may yet be use- 
ful in enabling readers, unaccustomed to 
books involving so vast a range of conception, 
to discern what, on this one subject only, may 
be gathered from that history. On any other 
subject of importance, similar gatherings 
might be made of other passages. The his- 
torian has to deal with all at once. 

I therefore have determined to print here, 
as a sequel to the Essay on War, my notes 
from the first volume of Friedrich, on the 
economies of Brandenburg, up to the date of 
the establishment of the Prussian monarchy. 
The economies of the first three Kings of 
Prussia I shall then take up in Fors Clavigera, 
finding them fitter for examination in connec- 
tion with the subject of that book than of 

I assume, that the reader will take down his 
first volume of Carlyle, and read attentively 


the passages to which I refer him. I give the 
reference first to the largest edition, in six 
volumes (1858-1865) ; then, in parenthesis, to 
the smallest or "people's edition" (1872- 
1873). The pieces which I have quoted in 
my own text are for the use of readers who 
may not have ready access to the book ; and 
are enough for the explanation of the points 
to which I wish them to direct their thoughts 
in reading such histories of soldiers or soldier- 


Year 928 to 936. — Dawn of Order in Christian Ger- 

Book II. Chap. i. p. 67 (47). 

Henry the Fowler, " the beginning of 
German kings," is a mighty soldier in the 
cause of peace ; his essential work the building 
and organization of fortified towns for the pro- 
tection of men. 

Read page 72 with utmost care (51), " He 
fortified towns " to end of small print. I have 
added some notes on the matter in my lecture 
on Giovanni* Pisano ; but whether you can 
glance at them or not, fix in your mind this 
institution of truly civil or civic building in 
Germany, as distinct from the building of 
baronial castles for the security of robbers: 
and of a standing army consisting of every 
ninth man, called a " burgher " (" townsman ") 


— a soldier appointed to learn that profession 
that he may guard the walls — the exact reverse 
of our notion of a burgher. 

Frederick's final idea of his army is, indeed, 
only this. 

Brannibor, a chief fortress of the Wends, 
is thus taken, and further strengthened by 
Henry the Fowler ; wardens appointed for it ; 
and thus the history of Brandenburg begins. 
On all frontiers, also, this "beginning of 
German kings " has his " Markgraf," " Ancient 
of the marked place." Read page 73, 
measuredly, learning it by heart, if it may be. 



936 — 1000.— History of Nascent Brandenburg. 

The passage I last desired you to read ends 
with this sentence : " The sea-wall you build, 
and what main floodgates you establish in it, 
will depend on the state of the outer sea." 

From this time forward you have to keep 
clearly separate in your minds, (a) the history 
of that outer sea, Pagan Scandinavia, Russia, 
and Bor-Russia, or Prussia proper; (b) the 
history of Henry the Fowler's Eastern and 
Western Marches; asserting themselves grad- 
ually as Austria and the Netherlands ; and 
(c) the history of this inconsiderable fortress 
of Brandenburg, gradually becoming consider- 
able, and the capital city of increasing district 
between them. That last history, howev«% 

AFi ^NDI;.. 223 

Carlyle is obliged to leave vague and gray 
for two hundred years after Henry's death. 
Absolutely dim for the first century, in which 
nothing is evident but that its wardens or 
Markgraves had no peaceable possession of 
the place. Read the second paragraph in 
page 74 (52-3), "in old books " to "reader," 
and the first in page 83 (59), " meanwhile " to 
" substantial," consecutively. They bring the 
story of Brandenburg itself down, at any rate, 
from 936 to 1000. 


936 — 1000. — State of the Outer Sea. 

Read now Chapter II. beginning at page 
76 (54), wherein you will get account of the 
beginning of vigorous missionary work on the 
outer sea, in Prussia proper ; of the death of 
St. Adalbert, and of the purchase of his dead 
body by the Duke of Poland. 

You will not easily understand Carlyle's 
laugh in this chapter, unless you have learned 
yourself to laugh in sadness, and to laugh in 

" No Czech blows his pipe in the woodlands 
without certain precautions and preliminary 
fuglings of a devotional nature." (Imagine 
St. Adalbert, in spirit, at the railway station 
in Birmingham !) 

My own main point for notice in the chapter 
is the purchase of his body for its " weight in 
gold." Swindling angels held it up in the 


scales ; it did not weigh so much as a web of 
gossamer. " Had such excellent odor, too, 
and came for a mere nothing of gold," says 
Carlyle. It is one of the first commercial 
transactions of Germany, but I regret the con- 
duct .of the angels on the occasion. Evangeli- 
calism has been proud of ceasing to invest in 
relics, its swindling angels helping it to better 
things, as it supposes. For my own part, I 
believe Christian Germany could not have 
bought at this time any treasure more pre- 
cious ; nevertheless, the missionary work it- 
self you find is wholly vain. The difference 
of opinion between St. Adalbert and the 
Wends, on Divine matters, does not signify to 
the Fates. They will not have it disputed 
about ; and end the dispute adversely, to St. 
Adalbert, — adversely, even, to Brandenburg 
and its civilizing power, as you will imme- 
diately see, 


IOOO — 1030. — History of Brandenburg in Trouble. 
Book II. Chap. iii. p. 83 (59). 

The adventures of Brandenburg in contest 
with Pagan Prussia, irritated, rather than 
amended, by St, Adalbert. In 1023, roughly, 
a hundred years after Henry the Fowler's 
death, Brandenburg is taken by the Wends, 
and its first line of Markgraves ended ; its 
population mostly butchered, especially the 



priests ; and the Wends' God, Triglaph, 
" something like three whales' cubs combined 
by boiling," set up on the top of St. Mary's 

Here is an adverse " Doctrine of the 
Trinity " which has its supporters ! It is 
wonderful, — this Tripod and Triglyph, — three- 
footed, three-cut faith of the North and South, 
the leaf of the oxalis, and strawberry, and 
clover, fostering the same in their simple 
manner. I suppose it to be the most savage 
and natural of notions about Deity ; a prismatic 
idol-shape of Him, rude as a triangular log, as 
a trefoil grass. I do not find how long 
Triglaph held his state on St. Mary's Hill. 
" For a time," says Carlyle, " the priests all 
slain or fled, — shadowy Markgraves the like 
— church and state lay in ashes, and Triglaph, 
like a triple porpoise under the influence of 
laudanum, stood, I know not whether on his 
head or his tail, aloft on the Harlungsberg, as 
the Supreme of this Universe for the time 


1030 — 1 1 30. — Brandenburg under the Dit~ 
marsch Markgraves, or Ditmarsch-Stade 

Book II. Chap. iii. p. 85 (60). 

Of Anglish, or Saxon breed. They attack 
Brandenburg, under its Triglyphic protector, 


take it — dethrone him, and hold the town for 
a hundred years, their history " stamped bene- 
ficially on the face of things, Markgraf after 
Markgraf getting killed in the business. 
' Erschlagen,' ' slain,' fighting with the Hea-. 
then — say the old books, and pass on to 
another." If we allow seven years to Triglaph 
— we get a clear century for these — as above 
indicated. They die out in 1130. 


I130— 1170. — Brandenburg under Albert the 

Book II. Chap. iv. p. 91 (64). 

He is the first of the Ascanien Markgraves, 
whose castle of Ascanica is on the northern 
slope of the Hartz Mountains, "ruins still 
dimly traceable." 

There had been no soldier or king of note 
among the Ditmarsch Markgraves, so that 
you will do well to fix in your mind succes- 
sively the three men, Henry the Fowler, St. 
Adalbert, and Albert the Bear. A soldier 
again, and a strong one. Named the Bear 
only from the device on his shield, first wholly 
definite Markgraf of Brandenburg that there 
is, " and that the luckiest of events for Brand- 
enburg." Read page 93 (66) carefully, and 
note this of his economies. 


rt Nothing better is known to me of Albert 
the Bear than his introducing large numbers 
of Dutch Netherlanders into those countries ; 
men thrown out of work, who already knew 
how to deal with bog and sand, by mixing and 
delving, and who first taught Brandenburg 
what greenness and cow-pasture was. The 
Wends, in presence of such things, could not 
but consent more and more to efface them- 
selves — either to become German, and grow 
milk and cheese in the Dutch manner, or to 
disappear from the world. 

" After two hundred and fifty years of bark- 
ing and worrying, the Wends are now finally- 
reduced to silence ; their anarchy well buried 
and wholesome Dutch cabbage planted over 
it ; Albert did several great things in the world ; 
but this, for posterity, remains his memorable 
feat. Not done quite easily, but done: big 
destinies of nations or of persons are not 
founded gratis in this world. He had a sore, 
toilsome time of it, coercing, warring, manag- 
ing among his fellow-creatures, while his day's- 
work lasted — fifty years or so, for it began, 
early. He died in his Castle of Ballenstadt, 
peaceably among the Hartz Mountains at last^. 
in the year 1170, age about sixty-five." 

Now, note in all this the steady gain of 
soldiership enforcing order and agriculture, 
with St. Adalbert giving higher strain to the 
imagination. Henry the Fowler establishes 


-walled towns, fighting for mere peace. Albert 
the Bear plants the country with cabbages, 
fighting for his cabbage-fields. And the dis' 
ciples of St. Adalbert, generally, have sue 
ceeded in substituting some idea of Christ foi 
the idea of Triglaph. Some idea only ; other" 
ideas than of Christ haunt even to this day 
those Hartz Mountains among which Albert 
the Bear died so peacefully. Mephistopheles, 
and all his ministers, inhabit there, command 1 
ing mepbitic clouds and earth-born dreams. 


1 1 70— 1320. — Brandenburg ijo years undei % 
the Ascanien Markgraves. 

Vol. I. Book II. Chap. viii. p. 135 (96). 

" Wholesome Dutch cabbages continued to 
he more and more planted by them in the 
waste sand : intrusive chaos, and Triglaph 
held at bay by them," till at last in 1240, 
seventy years after the great Bear's death, they 
fortify a new Burg, a " little rampart," Wehrlin, 
diminutive of Wehr (or vallum), gradually 
smoothing itself, with a little echo of the Bear 
in it too, into Ber-lin, the oily river Spree flow- 
ing by, " in which you catch various fish ; " 
while trade over the flats and by the dull 
streams, is widely possible. Of the Ascanien 
race, the notablest is Otto with the Arrow, 


whose story see, pp. 138-141 (98-109), noting 
that Otto is one of the first Minnesingers^ 
that, being a prisoner to the Archbishop of 
Magdeburg, his wife rescues him, selling her 
jewels to bribe the canons ; and that the 
Knight, set free on parole and promise of fur- 
ther ransom, rides back with his own price in 
his hand ; holding himself thereat cheaply 
bought, though no angelic legerdemain hap- 
pens to the scales now. His own estimate of 
his price — " Rain gold ducats on my war-horse 
and me, till you cannot see the point of my 
spear atop." 

Emptiness of utter pride, you think ? 

Not so. Consider with yourself, reader, 
how much you dare to say, aloud, you are 
worth. If you have no courage to name any 
price whatsoever for yourself, believe me, the 
cause is not your modesty, but that in very 
truth you feel in your heart there would be no 
bid for you at Lucian's sale of lives, were that 
again possible, at Christie and Manson's. 

Finally (13 19 exactly ; say 1320, for memory), 
the Ascanien line expired in Brandenburg, and 
the little town and its electorate lapsed to the 
Kaiser : meantime other economical arrange- 
ments had been in progress ; but observe first 
how far we have got. 

The Fowler, St. Adalbert, and the Bear have 
established order, and some sort of Chris- 
tianity ; but the established persons begin to 
think somewhat too well of themselves. On 
quite honest terms, a dead saint or a living 


knight ought to be worth their true " weight 
in gold." But a pyramid, with only the point 
of the spear seen at top, would be many times 
over one's weight in gold. And although men 
were yet far enough from the notion of modern 
days, that the gold is better than the flesh, 
and from buying it with the clay of one's body, 
and even the fire of one's soul, instead of soul 
and body with it, they were beginning to fight 
for their own supremacy, or for their own 
religious fancies, and not at all to any useful 
end, until an entirely unexpected movement is 
made in the old useful direction forsooth, only 
by some kind ship-captains of Lubeck ! 


1210 — 1320. — Civil work, aiding military \ 
during the Ascanien period 

Vol. I. Book II. Chap. vi. p. 109 (77). 

In the year 1190, Acre not yet taken, and 
the crusading army wasting by murrain on the 
shore, the German soldiers especially having 
none to look after them, certain compassionate 
ship-captains of Lubeck, one Walpot von Bas- 
senheim taking the lead, formed themselves 
into an union for succor of the sick and the 
dying, set up canvas tents from the Lubeck 
ship stores, and did what utmost was in them 


silently in the name of mercy and heaven. 
Finding its work prosper, the little medicinal 
and weather-fending company took vows on it- 
self, strict chivalry forms, and decided to be- 
come permanent " Knights Hospitallers of our 
dear Lady of Mount Zion," separate from the 
former Knights Hospitallers, as being entirely 
German : yet soon, as the German Order of St. 
Mary, eclipsing in importance Templars, Hos- 
pitallers, and every other chivalric order then 
extant ; no purpose of battle in them, but much 
strength for it ; their purpose only the helping 
of German pilgrims. To this only they are 
bound by their vow, " gelbiide," and become 
one of ,the usefullest of clubs in all the PalL 
Mall of Europe. 

Finding pilgrimage in Palestine falling slack,, 
and more need for them on the homeward side 
of the sea, their Hochmeister, Hermann of the 
Salza, goes over to Venice in 12 10. There, 
the titular bishop of still unconverted Preussen. 
advises him of that field of work for his idle 
knights. Hermann thinks well of it : sets his 
St. Mary's riders at Triglaph, with the sword 
in one hand and a missal in the other. 

Not your modern way of effecting conversion ! 
Too illiberal, you think ; and what would Mr. 
J. S. Mill say ? 

But if Triglaph had been verily " three 
whales' cubs combined by boiling," you would 
yourself have promoted attack on him for the 
sake of his. oil, would not you? The Teutsch 


Hitters, fighting him for charity, are they so 
much inferior to you ? 

" They built, and burnt, innumerable stock- 
ades for and against ; built wooden forts which 
are now stone towns. They fought much and 
prevalently ; galloped desperately to and fro, 
ever on the alert. In peaceabler ulterior times, 
they fenced in the Nogat and the Weichsel 
with dams, whereby unlimited quagmire might 
become grassy meadow — as it continues to this 
day. Marienburg (Mary's Burg), with its grand 
stone Schloss still visible and even habitable : 
this was at length their headquarter. But how 
many Burgs of wood and stone they built, in 
different parts ; what revolts, surprisals, furious 
fights in woody, boggy places they had, no 
man has counted. 

" But always some preaching by zealous 
monks, accompanied the chivalrous fighting. 
And colonists came in from Germany ; trick- 
ling in, or at times streaming. Victorious Rit- 
terdom offers terms to the beaten heathen: 
terms not of tolerant nature, but which will be 
punctually kept by Ritterdom. When the flame 
of revolt or general conspiracy burnt up again 
too extensively, high personages came on cru- 
sade to them. Ottocar, King of Bohemia, 
with his extensive far-shining chivalry, ' con- 
quered Samland in a month ; ' tore up the 
Romova where Adalbert had been massacred, 
and burnt it from the face of the earth. A 
certain fortress was founded at that time, 


in Ottocar's presence ; and in honor of him 
they named it King's Fortress, ' Konigsberg/ 
Among King Ottocar's esquires, or subaltern 
junior officials, on this occasion, is one Rudolf, 
heir of a poor Swiss lordship and gray hill 
castle, called Hapsburg, rather in reduced 
circumstances, whom Ottocar likes for his 
prudent, hardy ways ; a stout, modest, wise 
young man, who may chance to redeem Haps- 
burg a little, if he lives. 

" Conversion, and complete conquest once 
come, there was a happy time for Prussia ; 
ploughshare instead of sword : busy sea-havens, 
German towns, getting built; churches every- 
where rising ; grass growing, and peaceable 
cows, where formerly had been quagmire and 
snakes, and for the Order a happy time. On 
the whole, this Teutsch Ritterdom, for the first 
century and more, was a grand phenomenon, 
and flamed like a bright blessed beacon through 
the night of things, in those Northern countries. 
For above a century, we perceive, it was the 
rallying place of all brave men who had a 
career to seek on terms other than vulgar. 
The noble soul, aiming beyond money, and 
sensible to more than hunger in this world, had 
a beacon burning (as we say), if the night 
chanced to overtake it, and the earth to grow 
too intricate, as is not uncommon. Better than 
the career of stump-oratory, I should fancy, 
and its Hesperides apples, golden, and of gilt 
horse-dung. Better than puddling away one's 
poor spiritual gift of God (loan, not gift), such. 


as it may be, in building the lofty rhyme, the 
lofty review article, for a discerning public that 
has sixpence to spare ! Times alter greatly." * 

We must pause here again for a moment to 
think where we are, and who is with us. The 
Teutsch Ritters have been fighting, independ- 
ently of all states, for their own hand, or St. 
Adalbert's ; — partly for mere love of fight, 
partly for love of order, partly for love of God. 
Meantime, other Riders have been fighting 
wholly for what they could get by it ; and other 
persons, not Riders, have not been fighting at 
all, but in their own towns peacefully manu- 
facturing and selling. 

Of Henry the Fowler's Marches, Austria has 
become a military power, Flanders a mercantile 
one, pious only in the degree consistent with 
their several occupations. Prussia is now a 
practical and farming country, more Christian 
than its longer-converted neighbors. 

" Towns are built. Konigsberg (King Otto- 
car's town), Thoren (Thorn, City of the 
Gates), with many others; so that the wild 
population and the tame now lived tolerably 
together, under Gospel and Ltibeck law; and 
all was ploughing and trading." 

But Brandenburg itself, what of it ? 

* I would much rather print these passages of Car- 
lyle in large golden letters than small black ones ; but 
they are only here at all for unlucky people who can't 
read them with the context. 



The Ascanien Markgraves rule it on the 
■whole prosperously down to 1320, when their 
line expires, and it falls into the power of Im- 
perial Austria. 


1320 — 1415. — Brandenburg under the Aus~ 

A century — the fourteenth — of miserable 
anarchy and decline for Brandenburg, its 
Kurfiirsts, in deadly succession, making what 
they can out of it for their own pockets. The 
city itself and its territory utterly helpless. 
Read pp. 180, 181 (129, 130). "The towns 
suffered much, any trade they might have had 
going to wreck. Robber castles flourished, 
all else decayed, no highway safe. What are 
Hamburg peddlers made for but to be 
robbed ? " 


1415 — 1440. — Brandenburg under Friedrickof 

This is the fourth of the men whom you are 
to remember as creators of the Prussian mon- 
archy, Henry the Fowler, St. Adalbert, Albert 
the Bear, of Ascanien, and Friedrich of 
Nuremberg; (of Hohenzollern by name, and 


by country of the Black Forest, north of the 
Lake of Constance). 

Brandenburg is sold to him at Constance, 
durmg the great Council, for about .£200,000 of 
our money, worth perhaps a million in that 
day ; still, with its capabilities, " dog cheap." 
Admitting, what no one at the time denied, the 
general marketableness of states as private 
property, this is the one practical result, thinks 
Carlyle (not likely to think wrong), of that 
oecumenical deliberation, four years long, of 
the " elixir of the intellect and dignity of 
Europe. And that one thing was not its 
doing ; but a pawnbroking job, intercalated," 
putting, however, at last, Brandenburg again 
under the will of one strong man. On St. 
John's Day, 1412, he first set foot in his town, 
" and Brandenburg, under its wise Kurfiirst, 
begins to be cosmic again." The story of 
Heavy Peg, pages 195-198 (138, 140), is one 
of the most brilliant and important passages 
of the first volume ; page 199, specially to our 
purpose, must be given entire : — 

" The offer to be Kaiser was made him in 
his old days ; but he wisely declined that too. 
It was in Brandenburg, by what he silently 
founded there, that he did his chief benefit to 
Germany and mankind. He understood the 
noble art of governing men ; had in him the 
justness, clearness, valor, and patience needed 
for that. A man of sterling probity, for one 
thing. Which indeed is the first requisite in 


said art .« — if you will have your laws obeyed 
without mutiny, see well that they be pieces 
of God Almighty's law ; otherwise all the 
artillery in the world will not keep down 

" Friedrich ' travelled much over Branden- 
burg ; ' looking into everything with his own 
eyes ; making, I can well fancy, innumerable 
crooked things straight ; reducing more and 
more that famishing dog-kennel of a Branden- 
burg into a fruitful arable field. His portraits 
represent a square-headed, mild-looking, solid 
gentleman, with a certain twinkle of mirth in 
the serious eyes of him. Except in those 
Hussite wars for Kaiser Sigismund and the 
Reich, in which no man could prosper, he may 
be defined as constantly prosperous. To 
Brandenburg he was, very literally, the bless- 
ing of blessings ; redemption out of death 
into life. In the ruins of that old Friesack 
Castle, battered down by Heavy Peg, anti- 
quarian science (if it had any eyes) might look 
for the tap-root of the Prussian nation, and the 
beginning of all that Brandenburg has since 
grown to under the sun." 

Which growth is now traced by Carlyle in 
its various budding and withering, under the 
succession of the twelve Electors, of whom 
Friedrich, with his Heavy Peg, is first, and 
Friedrich, first King of Prussia, grandfather of 
Friedrich the Great, the twelfth. 



1415 — 1701. — Brandenburg under the Hohen- 
zollern Kurfiirsts 

Book III. 

Who the Hohenzollerns were, and how they 
came to power in Nuremberg, is told in Chap, 
v. of Book II. 

Their succession in Brandenburg is given in 
brief at page 377 (269). I copy it, in absolute 
barrenness of enumeration, for our momen- 
tary convenience, here : — 

Friedrich 1st of Brandenburg (6th of 

Nuremberg) 14.12-u.40 

Friedrich II., called "Iron Teeth" 1440-1472 

Albert 1472-1486 

Johann ...... 1486-1499 

Joachim 1 1499-1535 

Joachim II I 535" I S7 1 

Johann George 1571-1598 

Joachim Friedrich .... 1598- 1608 

Johann Sigismund .... 1608-1619 

George Wilhelm 1619-1640 

Friedrich Wilhelm (the Great Elec- 
tor) 1640-1688 

Friedrich, first King ; crowned 18th 

January .... 1701 

Of this line of princes we have to say they 
followed generally in their ancestor's steps, 


and had success of the like kind more or less ; 
Hohenzollerns all of them, by character and 
behavior as well as by descent. No lack of 
quiet energy, of thrift, sound sense. There 
was likewise solid fair play in general, no 
founding of yourself on ground that will not 
carry, and there was instant, gentle, but inexor- 
able crushing of mutiny, if it showed itself, 
.which, after the Second Elector, or at most 
the Third, it had altogether ceased to do. 

This is the general account of them ; of 
special matters note the following : — 

II. Friedrich, called " Iron-teeth," from his 
firmness, proves a notable manager and gov- 
ernor. Builds the palace at Berlin in its first 
form, and makes it his chief residence. Buys 
Neumark from the fallen Teutsch Ritters, and 
generally establishes things on securer footing. 

III. Albert, " a fiery, tough old Gentleman," 
called the Achilles of Germany in his day ; has 
half-a-century of fighting with his own Nurem- 
bergers, with Bavaria, France, Burgundy and its 
fiery Charles, besides being head constable to 
the Kaiser among any disorderly persons in the 
East. His skull, long shown on his tomb, 
" marvellous for strength and with no visible 

IV. John, the orator of his race ; (but the 
orations unrecorded). His second son, Arch- 
bishop of Maintz, for whose piece of memo- 
rable work see page 223 (143), and read in con- 
nection with that the history of Markgraf 


George, pp. 237 — 241 (152 — 154), and the 8th 
chapter of the third book. 

V. Joachim I, of little note ; thinks there has 
been enough Reformation, and checks proceed- 
ings in a dull stubbornness, causing him at 
least grave domestic difficulties. — Page 271 


VI. Joachim II. Again active in the Re- 
formation, and staunch, 

"though generally in a cautious, weighty, 
never in a rash, swift way, to the great cause 
of Protestantism and to all good causes. He 
was himself a solemnly devout man ; deep, 
awe-stricken reverence dwelling in his view of 
this universe. Most serious, though with a 
jocose dialect, commonly having a cheerful 
wit in speaking to men. Luther's books he 
called his Seelenschatz (soul's treasure); 
Luther and the Bible were his chief reading. 
Fond of profane learning, too, and of the use- 
ful or ornamental arts ; given to music, and 
' would himself sing aloud ' when he had a 
melodious leisure hour." 

VII. Johann George, a prudent thrifty Herr ; 
no mistresses, no luxuries allowed ; at the sight 
of a new-fashioned coat he would fly out on 
an unhappy youth and pack him from his 
presence. Very strict in point of justice^; a 
peasant once appealing to him in one of his 
inspection journeys through the country — 


"'Grant me justice, Durchlaucht, against so 
and so ; I am your Highness's born subject.' 
— ' Thou shouldst have it, man, wert thou a 
born Turk ! ' answered Johann George." 

Thus, generally, we find this line of Electors 
representing in Europe the Puritan mind of 
England in a somewhat duller, but less 
dangerous, form ; receiving what Protestantism 
could teach of honesty and common sense, but 
not its anti-Catholic fury, or its selfish spiritual 
anxiety. Pardon of sins is not to be had from 
Tetzel ; neither, the Hohenzollern mind 
advises with itself, from even Tetzel's master, 
for either the buying or the asking. On the 
whole, we had better commit as few as possible, 
and live just lives and plain ones. 

"A conspicuous thrift, veracity, modest 
solidity, looks through the conduct of this 
Herr ; a determined Protestant he too, as in- 
deed all the following were and are." 

VIII. Joachim Friedrich. Gets hold of 
Prussia, which hitherto, you observe, has always 
been spoken of as a separate country from 
Brandenburg. March n, 1605 — "Squeezed 
his way into the actual guardianship of 
Preussen and its imbecile Duke, which was 
his by right." 

For my own part, I do not trouble myself 

much about these rights, never being able to 

make out any single one, to begin with, except 

the right to keep everything and every place 



about you in as good order as you can- 
Prussia, Poland, or what else. I should much 
like, for instance, just now, to hear of any 
honest Cornish gentleman of the old Drake 
breed taking a fancy to land in Spain, and 
trying what he could make of his rights as far 
round Gibraltar as he could enforce them. At 
all events, Master Joachim has somehow got 
hold of Prussia ; and means to keep it. 

IX. Johann Sigismund. Only notable for 
our economical purposes, as getting the 
" guardianship " of Prussia confirmed to him. 
The story at page 317 (226), "a strong flame 
of choler," indicates a new order of things 
among the knights of Europe — " princely eti- 
quettes melting all into smoke." Too literally 
so, that being one of the calamitous functions 
of the plain lives we are living, and of the busy 
life our country is living. In the Duchy of 
Cleve, especially, concerning which legal dis- 
pute begins in Sigismund's time. And it is 
well worth the lawyers' trouble, it seems. 

" It amounted, perhaps, to two Yorkshires in 
extent. A naturally opulent country of fertile 
meadows, shipping capabilities, metalliferous 
hills, and at this time, in consequence of the 
Dutch-Spanish war, and the multitude of Prot- 
estant refugees, it was getting filled with in- 
genious industries, and rising to be what it 
still is, the busiest quarter of Germany. A 
country lowing with kine ; the hum of the flax- 
spindle heard in its cottages in those old days 


— ' much of the linen called Hollands is made 
in Jiilich, and only bleached, stamped, and sold 
by the Dutch,' says Biisching. A country in 
our days which is shrouded at short intervals 
with the due canopy of coal-smoke, and loud 
with sounds of the anvil and the loom." 

The lawyers took two hundred and six years to 
settle the question concerning this Duchy, and 
the thing Johann Sigismund had claimed 
legally in 1609 was actually handed over to 
Johann Sigismund's descendant in the seventh 
generation. " These litigated duchies are now 
the Prussian provinces, Jiilich, Berg, Cleve, 
and the nucleus of Prussia's possessions in the 
Rhine country." 

X. George Wilhelm. Read pp. 325 to 327 
{231, 333) on this Elector and German Prot- 
estantism, now fallen old, and somewhat too 
little dangerous. But George Wilhelm is the 
only weak prince of all the twelve, For another 
example how the heart and life of a country 
depend upon its prince, not on its council, read 
this, Gustavus Adolphus, demanding the 
cession of Spandau and Kustrin : 

" Which cession Kiirfurst George Wilhelm, 
though giving all his prayers to the good cause, 
could by no means grant. Gustav had to in- 
sist, with more and more emphasis, advancing 
at last with military menace upon Berlin itself. 
He was met by George Wilhelm and his Coun- 
cil, ' in the woods of Copenick,' short way to the 


east of that city ; there George Wilhelm and his 
Council wandered about, sending messages, 
hopelessly consulting, saying among each other, 
' Que faire ? ils ont des canons.' For many 
hours so, round the inflexible Gustav, who was 
there like a fixed milestone, and to all ques- 
tions and comers had only one answer." 

On our special question of war and its conse- 
quences, read this of the Thirty Years' one : 

" But on the whole, the grand weapon in it, 
and towards the latter times the exclusive one, 
was hunger. The opposing armies tried to 
starve one another ; at lowest, tried each not to 
starve. Each trying to eat the country or, at 
any rate, to leave nothing eatable in it ; what 
that will mean for the country we may con- 
sider. As the armies too frequently, and the 
Kaiser's armies habitually, lived without com- 
missariat, often enough without pay, all hor- 
rors of war and of being a seat of war, that 
have been since heard of, are poor to those 
then practised, the detail of which is still horri- 
ble to read. Germany, in all eatable quarters 
of it, had to undergo the process ; tortured, torn 
to pieces, wrecked, and brayed as in mortar, 
under the iron mace of war. Brandenburg 
saw its towns seized and sacked, its country 
populations driven to despair by the one party 
and the other. Three times — first in the 
Wallenstein-Mecklenburg times, while fire and 
sword were the weapons, and again, twice over, 



in the ultimate stages of the struggle, when 
starvation had become the method — Branden- 
burg fell to be the principal theatre of conflict, 
where all forms of the dismal were at their 
height. In 1638, three years after that precious 
* Peace of Prag,' . . . the ravages of the 
starving Gallas and his Imperialists excelled 
all precedent, . . . men ate human flesh, nay, 
human creatures ate their own children.' ' Que 
faire ? ils ont des canons ! ' " 

" We have now arrived at the lowest nadir 
point " (says Carlyle) " of the history of 
Brandenburg under the Hohenzollerns." Is 
this then all that Heavy Peg and our nine 
Kiirfursts have done for us ? 

Carlyle does not mean that : but even he, 
greatest of historians since Tacitus, is not 
enough careful to mark for us the growth of 
national character, as distinct from the pros- 
perity of dynasties. 

A republican historian would think of this 
development only, and suppose it to be possi- 
ble without any dynasties. 

Which is indeed in a measure so, and the 
work now chiefly needed in moral philosophy, 
as well as history, is an analysis of the constant 
and prevalent, yet unthought of, influences, 
which, without any external help from kings, 
and in a silent and entirely necessary manner, 
form, in Sweden, in Bavaria, in the Tyrol, in 
the Scottish border, and on the French sea- 
coast, races of noble peasants ; pacific, poetic, 


heroic, Christian-hearted in the deepest sense, 
who may indeed perish by sword or famine in 
any cruel thirty years ' war, or ignoble thirty 
years' peace, and yet leave such strength to 
their children that the country, apparently 
ravaged into hopeless ruin, revives, under any 
prudent king, as the cultivated fields do under 
the spring rain. How the rock to which no 
seed can cling, and which no rain can soften, 
is subdued into the good ground which can 
bring forth its hundredfold, we forget to watch, 
while we follow the footsteps of the sower, or 
mourn the catastrophes of storm. All this 
while, the Prussian earth, — the Prussian soul, 
— has been thus dealt upon by successive fate ; 
and now, though laid, as it seems, utterly 
desolate, it can be revived by a few years of 
wisdom and of peace. 

Vol. I. Book III. Chap, xviii.— The Great 
Elector, Friedrich Wilhelm. Eleventh of the 
dynasty : — 

" There hardly ever came to sovereign power 
a young man of twenty under more distressing, 
hopeless-looking circumstances. Political sig- 
nificance Brandenburg had none ; a mere Prot- 
estant appendage, dragged about by a Papist 
Kaiser, his father's Prime Minister, as we have 
seen, was in the interest of his enemies ; not 
Brandenburg's servant, but Austria's. The 
very commandants of his fortresses, Com- 
mandant of Spandau more especially, refused 
to obey Friedrich Wilhelm on his accession | 


•were bound to obey the Kaiser in the first 
place. ' 

" For twenty years past Brandenburg had 
been scoured by hostile armies, which, espe- 
cially the Kaiser's part of which, committed out- 
rages new in human history. In a year or two 
hence, Brandenburg became again the theatre 
of business. Austrian Gallas advancing thither 
again (1644) with intent 'to shut up Torsten- 
son and his Swedes in Jutland.' Gallas could 
by no means do what he intended ; on the 
contrary, he had to run from Torstenson — what 
feet could do ; was hunted, he and his Merode 
Bruder (beautiful inventors of the 'maraud- 
ing' art), till they pretty much all died 
(crepirten) says Kohler. No great loss to 
society, the death of these artists, but we can 
fancy what their life, and especially what the 
process of their dying, may have cost poor 
Brandenburg again ! 

" Friedrich Wilhelm's aim, in this as in other 
emergencies, was sun-clear to himself, but for 
most part dim to everybody else. He had to 
walk very warily, Sweden on one hand of 
him, suspicious Kaiser on the other : he had 
to wear semblances, to be ready with evasive 
words, and advance noiselessly by many cir- 
cuits. More delicate operation could not be 
imagined. But advance he did ; advance and 
arrive. With extraordinary talent, diligence, 
and felicity the young man wound himself out 
of this first fatal position, got those foreign 
armies pushed out of his country, and kept 


them out. His first concern had been to find 
some vestige of revenue, to put that upon a 
clear footing, and by loans or otherwise to 
scrape a little ready-money together. On the 
strength of which a small body of soldiers could 
be collected about him, and drilled into real ability 
to fight and obey. This as a basis : on this 
followed all manner of things, freedom from 
Swedish-Austrian invasions, as the first thing. 
He was himself, as appeared by-and-by, a 
fighter of the first quality, when it came to that \ 
but never was willing to fight if he could help 
it. Preferred rather to shift, manoeuvre, and 
negotiate, which he did in most vigilant, adroit, 
and masterly manner. But by degrees he had 
grown to have, and could maintain it, an army 
of 24,000 men, among the best troops then 
in being." 

To wear semblances, to be ready with eva- 
sive words, how is this, Mr. Carlyle ? thinks 
perhaps, the rightly thoughtful reader. 

Yes, such things have to be. There are lies 
and lies, and there are truths and truths. 
Ulysses cannot ride on the ram's back, like 
Phryxus ; but must ride under his belly. Read 
also this, presently following : 

" Shortly after which, Friedrich Wilhelm who 
had shone much in the battle of Warsaw, into 
which he was dragged against his will, changed 
sides. An inconsistent, treacherous man? 
Perhaps not, O reader ! perhaps a man advano* 



ing * in circuits,' the only way he has ; spirally, 
face now to east, now to west, with his own 
reasonable private aim sun-clear to him all the 
while ? " 

The battle of Warsaw, three days long, fought 
with Gustavus, the grandfather of Charles XII., 
against the Poles, virtually ends the Polish 
power : 

" Old Johann Casimir, not long after that 
peace of Oliva, getting tired of his unruly Pol- 
ish chivalry and their ways, abdicated — retired 
to Paris, and 'lived much with Ninon de 
l'Enclos and her circle,' for the rest of his life. 
He used to complain of his Polish chivalry, that 
there was no solidity in them ; nothing but out- 
side glitter, with tumult and anarchic noise; 
fatal want of one essential talent, the talent of 
obeying; and has been heard to prophesy that 
a glorious Republic, persisting in such courses 
would arrive at results which would surprise it. 

" Onward from this time, Friedrich Wilhelm 
figures in the world ; public men watching his 
procedure ; kings anxious to secure him — Dutch 
print-sellers sticking up his portraits for a hero- 
worshipping public. Fighting hero, had the 
public known it, was not his essential charac- 
ter, though he had to fight a great deal. He 
was essentially an industrial man; great in 
organizing, regulating, in constraining chaotic 
heaps to become cosmic for him. He drains 
bogs, settles colonies in the waste places cf his 
dominions, cuts canals • unweariedly encour- 


ages trade and work. The Friedrich Wilhelm's 
Canal, which still carries tonnage from the Oder 
to the Spree, is a monument of his zeal in this 
way ; creditable with the means he had. To 
the poor French Protestants in the Edict-of- 
Nantes affair, he was like an express benefit of 
Heaven ; one helper appointed to whom the 
help itself was profitable. He munificently wel- 
comed them to Brandenburg ; showed really a. 
noble piety and human pity, as well as judg- 
ment ; nor did Brandenburg and he want their 
reward. Some 20,000 nimble French souls, 
evidently of the best French quality, found a 
home there ; made 'waste sands about Berlin 
into potherb gardens ; ' and in spiritual Bran- 
denburg, too, did something of horticulture 
which is still noticeable." 

Now read carefully the description of the 
man, p. 352 (224-5); the story of the battle of 
Fehrbellin, "the Marathon of Brandenburg," 
p. 354 (225) ; and of the winter campaign of 
1679, p. 356 (227), beginning with its week's 
marches at sixty miles a day ; his wife, as 
always, being with him : 

" Louisa, honest and loving Dutch girl, aunt 
to our William of Orange, who trimmed up her 
own 'Orange-burg' (country-house), twenty 
miles north of Berlin, into a little jewel of the 
Dutch type, potherb gardens, training-schools 
for young girls, and the like, a favorite abode 
of hers when she was at liberty for recreation. 
But her life was busy and earnest ; she waa 


helpmate, not in name only, to an ever busy 
man. They were married young ; a marriage 
of love withal. Young Friedrich Wilhelm's 
courtship; wedding in Holland; the honest, 
trustful walk and conversation of the two sov- 
ereign spouses, their journeyings together, 
their mutual hopes, fears, and manifold vicissi- 
tudes, till death, with stern beauty, shut it in ; 
all is human, true, and wholesome in it, inter- 
esting to look upon, and rare among sovereign 

Louisa died in 1667, twenty-one years before 
her husband, who married again — (little to his 
contentment) — died in 1688 ; and Louisa's 
second son, Friedrich, ten years old at his 
mother's death, and now therefore thirty-one, 
succeeds, becoming afterwards Friedrich I. of 

And here we pause on two great questions. 
Prussia is assuredly at this point a happier and 
better country than it was when inhabited by 
Wends. But is Friedrich I. a happier and 
better man than Henry the Fowler ? Have 
all these kings thus improved their country, 
but never themselves ? Is this somewhat ex- 
pensive and ambitious Herr, Friedrich I., but- 
toned in diamonds, indeed the best that Prot- 
estantism can produce, as against Fowlers, 
Bears, and Red Beards ? Much more, Fried- 
rich Wilhelm, orthodox on predestination ; 
most of all, his less orthodox son ; — have we, 
in these, the highest results which Dr. Martin 


Luther can produce for the present, in the first 
circles of society ? And if not, how is it that 
the country, having gained so much in intelli- 
gence and strength, lies more passively in their 
power than the baser country did under that 
of nobler men ? 

These, and collateral questions, I mean to 
work out as I can, with Carlyle's good help ; 
— but must pause for this time ; in doubt, as 
heretofore. Only of this one thing I doubt 
not, that the name of all great kings, set over 
Christian nations, must at last be, in fulfilment, 
the hereditary one of these German princes, 
" Rich in Peace ; " and that their coronation 
■will be with Wild olive, not with gold, 

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